SAN FRANCISCO - Thanks to Pat Burrell and San Francisco's suddenly productive offense, the Giants' front office focused its efforts on bolstering the bullpen at the trading deadline.
Two new relievers are coming to town for the playoff push.
Burrell lined a go-ahead two-run homer into the left-field seats with two outs in the eighth inning, and the Giants rallied past the Los Angeles Dodgers, 2-1, on Saturday.
The Giants won for the eighth time in 10 games. They are 11/2 games behind first-place San Diego, which lost to Florida, and increased their lead on the Dodgers to 51/2.
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“We’re in a real good situation,” said Burrell, who has made an impact since joining the Giants on June 4. “You have to be fortunate to be in position to make the playoffs. We’ve got to approach every game as if it is crunch time, because in reality it is.”
Chad Billingsley extended his scoreless innings streak to 212/3 spanning three starts, but the bullpen couldn’t hold a one-run lead for short-handed Los Angeles. Casey Blake had put the Dodgers ahead with a solo homer in the seventh.
Billingsley – who pitched on three days’ rest after making the offer to manager Joe Torre – struck out five and allowed two hits in 62/3 innings in a pitching duel with Barry Zito.
“I kept the same mentality as I’ve been. We didn’t have anybody slotted in there so I told Joe, ‘I’m ready,’ ” Billingsley said. “Barry was throwing a good game and I had to match him. We just fell short today.”
San Francisco’s Buster Posey was plunked on the upper left arm by Hong-Chih Kuo with two outs in the eighth and both benches were warned by plate umpire Rob Drake. Jonathan Broxton (3-3) relieved and blew his fourth save when he gave up Burrell’s sixth homer of the year.
“It’s hard to get a bigger hit than that,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
It was Burrell’s first homer since June 29 against the Dodgers and his third go-ahead drive with the Giants trailing.