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Giants beat Dodgers in historic rout at Dodger Stadium

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LOS ANGELES — Suddenly, the Giants are the hottest team in baseball.

Or maybe it’s not so sudden. Their 15-0 thrashing of the Dodgers on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium was a sixth straight victory, but the fact is that San Francisco has been doing this for a while now. Dating back to May 15, the Giants have won 21 of their last 30 games, a .700 clip that’s the best winning percentage in the Majors in that stretch.

“Obviously, it’s huge to get a series win against L.A., have a chance at a sweep tomorrow,” said starter Alex Wood, who threw five scoreless innings in his return from the 15-day injured list. “But I think we’re just really settling into who we are as a team. It’s been really fun to watch.”

During their current winning streak, the Giants are averaging 9.7 runs per game, having scored seven or more runs in all but one contest. Saturday might have been the most complete-team effort, with just about everyone contributing, especially on offense.

There was LaMonte Wade Jr., who had three hits, including a three-run home run in the fifth. Wade also showed great discipline by working a walk to load the bases in the sixth for pinch-hitter J.D. Davis, who made it a laugher for San Francisco with a grand slam.

Brandon Crawford recorded his first four-hit game of the season, driving in a pair of runs before leaving in the seventh for defensive replacement David Villar. It was Crawford’s first game with more than three hits since Aug. 16, 2021, vs. the Mets.

It’s been an overall down year on offense for the 36-year-old Crawford, who entered the night batting .203 with a .630 OPS. But manager Gabe Kapler has noticed an upturn for Crawford since the Giants’ late-May series in Minnesota. In that 17-game span, Crawford has gone 17-for-50 (.340) with six doubles.

“Across the board, he’s having good at-bats and playing good defense,” said Kapler. “Really a pivotal part of our team when he’s on the field.”

Besides the final score, the Giants scored another victory by getting Davis into the game after he was out of the lineup for the past three contests due to a right ankle sprain. With lefty Alex Vesia on the mound, Joc Pederson due up and the Giants already leading by five, Kapler called upon Davis, who crushed a first-pitch four-seamer a Statcast-projected 441 feet to dead center. 

Davis credited some work he did in early batting practice for his ability to drive the ball the way he did.

“[I’ve] just been a little bit inconsistent at the plate and [was trying to] just kind of get back to the basics of things and get back on that fastball,” said Davis. “And so it kind of translated in the game — just being more direct to the baseball, direct to the heater, and good things just happened.”

The victory moved the Giants to just half a game behind the second-place Dodgers in the National League West standings. They remain 4 1/2 games behind the first-place D-backs.

Add it to the extensive story that is the Giants-Dodgers rivalry, as the Giants have seldom done this kind of damage against their foes — on either coast. This was the Giants’ first defeat of the Dodgers by 10 or more runs since Sept. 14, 2013, a 19-3 rout at Dodger Stadium. It was the first time the Giants have shut out the Dodgers by 12-plus runs since a 12-0 game in L.A. on April 3, 2002. It was the Giants’ second-largest shutout victory all time vs. the Dodgers, behind a 16-0 win on July 3, 1949, at the Polo Grounds.

Wood, who’s experienced the rivalry from both sides, knows as well as anyone how much performances like this mean.

“Every time they come to our place or we come here, it’s heightened,” said Wood. “There’s always big crowds. You want to come and you want to win a series. And we come in and win the first two, we’re playing really good ball. But I think it’s a day at a time with us. We’re coming in every day focused. Guys are working hard. Everybody’s taking accountability for their jobs. And it’s just kind of staying process-oriented.”

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