LOS ANGELES — Before the Giants’ barrage of homers, before the beating sun set behind the blue-hued seats in the upper deck of Dodger Stadium, before San Francisco’s first win here all season, closer Camilo Doval was contorting himself on the clubhouse floor, just trying to maximize the area of his body exposed to a high-powered fan.
It was that hot.
The 90-degree temperature at first pitch marked the sixth-hottest conditions the Giants have played in this season.
In other words, weather that makes the ball fly.
And fly, fly it did Monday night in Chavez Ravine.
With five home runs from Lewis Brinson (twice), J.D. Davis, Thairo Estrada and David Villar — four between the third and fourth innings — the Giants matched their season-high and provided Logan Webb more than enough padding to pick up their first win in seven games this season at Dodger Stadium, 7-4.
San Francisco extended its winning streak to four games, continuing its mojo from a weekend sweep of the Phillies, but in a reminder of how off course the season has gone, still trailed the Dodgers by 26.5 games in the NL West (though, technically still alive, with an elimination number of three games).
It was about 7:45 p.m. when the first ball left Brinson’s bat with one on and one out in the third. By 8:05, Villar was rounding the bases with their fourth home run in two innings. Brinson’s second? Oh, about 9:55, some 20 minutes before Doval registered the final out for his 20th save of the season.
The five homers generated all six of the Giants’ runs, and two more off Dodgers bats — a two-run blast by Freddie Freeman in the first and a solo shot from Austin Barnes in the seventh — accounted for three of their four runs, too.
The Giants were aided by the weather, but also their opponent. Dodgers starter Andrew Heaney had allowed six home runs in his three previous starts entering Monday, already the most in the majors over that span.
Making his 27th start of the season, setting a new career-high in appearances, Webb’s six innings were hardly stress free but ultimately limited the high-powered Dodgers lineup to three runs (two earned) while pitching in the same conditions.
Webb struck out six and didn’t issue a walk but had to pitch around runners on base in four of his six frames.
After being given a 6-2 lead, Webb worked himself into and out of trouble in the fourth. Despite allowing a pair of singles to Freddie Freeman and Max Muncy to lead off the inning, Webb limited the damage to one run — on Joey Gallo’s line-drive double down the right-field line — by inducing a weak pop fly from Miguel Vargas and getting Cody Bellinger to strike out looking, stranding runners at second and third.
The next inning, Brandon Crawford fired a strike of a relay throw from shallow left field to keep the Los Angeles off the board. In a play reminiscent of the game-winning relay in San Diego last month, Mookie Betts lined a double into the left-field corner, and Austin Barnes tried to score from first. But Bryce Johnson hit his relay man, Crawford, whose dart home beat Barnes by a wide enough margin that catcher Austin Wynns was able to lay a routine tag on him for the out.
Freeman gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead in the first inning. After Betts, the leadoff man, reached on a throwing error by third baseman Evan Longoria, Freeman unloaded a slider for a towering two-run shot into the right-field seats. The homer was Freeman’s eighth career hit against Webb and the single his ninth in 17 at-bats, tied for the most of any major-leaguer.
The Giants, though, took the lead for good in the top of the third with their own power display.
Before the game, manager Gabe Kapler remarked on Brinson’s track record of success against lefties and his ability to drive the ball to all fields. “There’s some damage in there,” he said.
Those comments quickly looked prescient, as Brinson slugged a Heaney heater 429 feet to dead center. The homer was his first in four games since the Giants acquired the former first-round pick for cash, and tied the score at 2.
Davis, who grew up in a family of Dodgers fans, broke the tie two batters later, slugging a solo shot that landed only a few feet away from Brinson’s blast. In a month since coming over at the trade deadline, Davis has more home runs with the Giants (five) than he did in four previous months with the Mets (four).
And they weren’t done yet.
The second pair of homers in the fourth, from Estrada and Villar, totaled four in a span of about 20 minutes.
Brinson’s second of the night, a solo shot off Justin Bruihl in the top of the ninth, traveled 380 feet before landing in the right-center field seats.
With their fifth homer of the night, the Giants tied their previous high for the season (June 3 at Miami in a 15-6 win) and secured only their third game ever at Dodger Stadium with five home runs. It hadn’t been done since a 10-0 win here on Oct. 3, 2004, when Ray Durham, Pedro Feliz, Marquis Grissom, Deivi Cruz and Jason Ellison all hit one.
Curiously, Villar was pulled from the game after his fourth-inning home run. Making his second career start at first base, Villar was lifted after his fourth-inning home run and replaced on defense by Wilmer Flores. No injuries were announced, so it’s possible the Giants made the change for defensive reasons to help preserve a rare lead over the Dodgers.
The Giants led at the conclusion of more innings Monday night (seven) than they had in their previous seven meetings since the All-Star break (leading after three of those 72 innings).
Contributed by local news sources