"It's almost like a death," Lowry said. Nevertheless, he added, "That's the nature of the business. ... Once you finally hit the mound, it's more of a comfort zone."Lowry rarely looked comfortable. He left the bases loaded in the first inning by coaxing James Loney's popup. He stranded two more in the fifth when Luis Gonzalez flied out to deep right-center field. In between, the Dodgers scored in the second inning on Ramon Martinez's single, Penny's sacrifice bunt and Rafael Furcal's RBI single. But the Giants pulled even in the third as Dave Roberts walked, Randy Winn doubled for his first of four hits and Ray Durham hit a sacrifice fly. San Francisco forged ahead in the sixth as Penny, who walked five, began the inning by issuing free passes to Bonds and Ryan Klesko. Bengie Molina's single loaded the bases before Feliz singled up the middle to deliver Bonds and Klesko. "I can't say enough about the job he's done," manager Bruce Bochy said of Feliz, who's batting .333 (22-for-66) in his last 18 games. "He's so consistent." But Lowry needed help protecting the lead in the Dodgers' half of the inning, bequeathing a two-on, two-out jam to Kevin Correia. Throwing nothing but sliders to Olmedo Saenz, the right-hander worked the count full before slipping a fastball past the pinch-hitter for a called third strike. Correia proceeded to strike out Furcal and Juan Pierre, the first two Dodgers he faced in the seventh. "Kevin really stepped up," Bochy said. "The game's on the line with a great pinch-hitter and he made some great pitches there." So did Steve Kline, who sailed through the eighth, and Brad Hennessey, who worked the ninth for his ninth save. "In my opinion, they were the difference in the game," Lowry said of San Francisco's relievers. As a result, the Giants still believe that they can make a difference in the division, particularly if they thrive against their opponents on this journey. "We've got L.A.; we've got San Diego," Lowry said. "You can never roll over and quit. I thought we did a good job of that today. We showed a lot of heart. It was a good start to the road trip."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.