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Giants overcome Dodgers in bizarre fashion

Giants overcome Dodgers in bizarre fashion

LOS ANGELES -- It's said that a manager is directly responsible for only a few victories each season. If that's true, then chalk one up Tuesday night for Bruce Bochy.

Bochy prompted the umpiring crew to invoke a rule that forced Los Angeles Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton to leave the game in the ninth inning. Facing a pair of much more vulnerable relievers, the Giants completed a three-run rally with Andres Torres' bases-loaded double and Buster Posey's RBI single that gave them a 7-5 victory.

Some observers might describe this three-hour, 16-minute tussle as wild. That's redundant. It was a Giants-Dodgers game.

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The Giants overcame Tim Lincecum's sluggishness and a 5-1 deficit through three innings. They controlled their emotions while a number of pitches were thrown too close for comfort. And they ultimately improved to 52-42, marking the first time this season they have soared 10 games above .500. San Francisco has reached this perch by winning 11 of its last 13 games, including five of six since the All-Star break.

"I think that's the kind of game that keeps you on a hot streak," said left-hander Jeremy Affeldt, who replaced the overworked Brian Wilson as closer and recorded his third save of the year.

The man on the hot seat helped continue the hot streak.

San Francisco trimmed its deficit to 5-4 with a three-run sixth, highlighted by Pablo Sandoval's two-run double.

The score remained the same as the ninth inning arrived. Facing Broxton, who pitched a scoreless ninth last Tuesday to preserve the National League's triumph in the All-Star Game, Juan Uribe christened the inning with an infield single. After Edgar Renteria walked, Aaron Rowand executed a sacrifice bunt, forcing Broxton to load the bases by walking pinch-hitter Aubrey Huff intentionally.

Then came the weirdness as substitute Dodgers manager Don Mattingly inadvertently made what amounted to a double-trip to the mound. Mattingly left the mound but turned and delivered some additional thoughts.

Rule 8.06
A professional league shall adopt the following rule pertaining to the visit of the manager or coach to the pitcher:

(a) This rule limits the number of trips a manager or coach may make to any one pitcher in any one inning;

(b) A second trip to the same pitcher in the same inning will cause this pitcher's automatic removal;

(c) The manager or coach is prohibited from making a second visit to the mound while the same batter is at bat, but

(d) if a pinch-hitter is substituted for this batter, the manager or coach may make a second visit to the mound, but must remove the pitcher.

A manager or coach is considered to have concluded his visit to the mound when he leaves the 18-foot circle surrounding the pitcher's rubber.

Rule 8.06 Comment: If the manager or coach goes to the catcher or infielder and that player then goes to the mound or the pitcher comes to him at his position before there is an intervening play (a pitch or other play) that will be the same as the manager or coach going to the mound.

Any attempt to evade or circumvent this rule by the manager or coach going to the catcher or an infielder and then that player going to the mound to confer with the pitcher shall constitute a trip to the mound.

If the coach goes to the mound and removes a pitcher and then the manager goes to the mound to talk with the new pitcher, that will constitute one trip to that new pitcher that inning.

In a case where a manager has made his first trip to the mound and then returns the second time to the mound in the same inning with the same pitcher in the game and the same batter at bat, after being warned by the umpire that he cannot return to the mound, the manager shall be removed from the game and the pitcher required to pitch to the batter until he is retired or gets on base. After the batter is retired, or becomes a base runner, then this pitcher must be removed from the game. The manager should be notified that his pitcher will be removed from the game after he pitches to one hitter, so he can have a substitute pitcher warmed up.

The substitute pitcher will be allowed eight preparatory pitches or more if in the umpire's judgment circumstances justify.

He should have kept his mouth shut.

Rule 8:06 prohibits managers or coaches visiting the mound from supplementing their visits by making a U-turn. If they do so, the pitcher must be removed. Managing San Diego in 2006, Bochy cited the same rule to force the exit of Dodgers right-hander Brad Penny when then-Los Angeles manager Grady Little danced the two-step around the mound.

"The rules are the rules," Mattingly admitted. "Obviously at that point, it's my responsibility to know not to turn and take a step off. He [home-plate umpire Adrian Johnson] just said, 'No, no, no.' I didn't realize I was off."

Interestingly, Bochy said that except for the incident four years ago, he had never seen the rule violated as a player, coach or manager. But he was quick to pounce on Mattingly's misstep. Bochy left the dugout to point out what had happened to the umpires, who concurred after a brief conference. Out went Broxton and in came George Sherrill and his 7.48 ERA

"It's an easy mistake to make," Bochy said. "I saw it. Once he went back to say a few more words, I'm sitting in a pretty good position there.

"What was important was Torres came through."

He did indeed, lining Sherrill's 0-1 pitch into the left-center-field gap.

"I was thinking, 'Stay aggressive,'" said Torres, who switched to a lighter bat before his previous plate appearance when he felt his swing slowing down. "I was trying to get a good pitch to hit that I could hit in the air."

Right-hander Travis Schlichting relieved Sherrill and yielded Posey's run-scoring hit, sealing the Dodgers' sixth consecutive loss.

Earlier, simmering hostility was the evening's theme. Lincecum, who allowed all of Los Angeles' runs in 4 2/3 innings, struck Matt Kemp, the next-to-last batter he faced, with a fastball. Kemp veered toward the mound en route to first base yet never looked at Lincecum and didn't appear to yell anything at him. Still, Johnson stepped between Kemp and Lincecum and escorted the former halfway to first base.

"It just got away from me. I wasn't throwing at him on purpose at all," Lincecum said. "I had a hard enough time finding the strike zone, let alone wanting to hit somebody on purpose when we're down already. If that's what he was thinking, I really don't know where his head's at."

Both benches were warned against escalating hostilities after Lincecum hit Kemp. So one inning later, after Giants reliever Denny Bautista fired an inside fastball that spun Russell Martin out of the batter's box, Dodgers bench coach Bob Schaefer protested to Johnson a little too loudly and was ejected.

After Martin flied out, he jogged in front of the mound and, while staring straight ahead, snarled a few choice words at Bautista, who needed to be calmed down by teammates.

Then the inevitable occurred. Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw struck Rowand with the first pitch of the seventh inning, causing the ejection of Kershaw and Dodgers manager Joe Torre.

"I don't think Lincecum's ball at Matt was intentional; I don't think Bautista's ball that went up and in at Russ was intentional," said Kershaw, who also denied his own intent. "That's all I have to say about it."

Ultimately, the Giants got the last word.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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