LOS ANGELES (AP) - The San Francisco Giants left Los Angeles having lost three of four games to the Dodgers for the first time since 2001 in a messy defensive series for the defending world champions.
The Giants committed five errors in their first two losses, and Aubrey Huff showed he's still adjusting to his move from first base to right field in a 7-5 defeat Sunday night. In between the miscues, they had blanked the Dodgers 10-0 a day earlier.
``It's not the way we want to start. The first couple of games we hurt ourselves and easily could have come away with a couple more wins if we played better ball,' Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. ``I knew this wasn't going to be an easy part of the schedule. Hopefully we'll get back on track.'
The Giants head to San Diego for two games before opening at home Friday night, when they'll celebrate their first World Series title since moving to San Francisco in 1958.
Marcus Thames tripled in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, when the Dodgers scored all four runs off Dan Runzler (0-1). Pinch-hitter Aaron Miles followed Thames' clutch hit with a single to right, scoring pinch-runner Tony Gwynn Jr. Rafael Furcal doubled deep to right center, scoring Miles and making it 6-3. They added another run on Andre Ethier's single.
Matt Kemp hit a two-run homer in the first, when the Dodgers scored three runs off Barry Zito, making his first start four days after hurting his neck and having his car seriously damaged in an accident in West Hollywood on the eve of opening day.
``Considering the severity of the deal, I felt pretty good,' he said. ``I had pretty good stuff, so I'm definitely encouraged.'
Zito, who has missed just two starts in his career, gave up three runs and three hits in six innings, struck out five and walked two.
``I didn't get all my work done between starts - long-toss, bullpen, upper-body workout - but once you get out there, the adrenaline's flowing and I felt pretty normal,' he said.
The left-hander got off to a rough beginning, though, with Furcal singling on Zito's first pitch of the game when the mound was in half-sun and half-shade.
``I missed a couple of pitches into Furcal and Kemp, and that's where I got hurt,' he said. ``But I had a lot of pitches from then on and was able to contain the game and give the team a chance.'
Lacking an overpowering pitch, the 32-year-old former Cy Young winner needed the Giants defense to play well behind him, but Huff didn't.
The right fielder tried to make a diving catch of Jamey Carroll's hit only to watch the ball skip under his mitt and roll behind him for a triple, allowing Furcal to score from first.
After striking out Ethier, Zito gave up the first-pitch homer to Kemp, putting the Dodgers ahead 3-0. He then settled down and retired the next 15 batters.
``I was just throwing strikes. That's the biggest thing,' he said. ``Once you show the hitters you're throwing strikes, they're going to be a little bit more aggressive and then you can get them out on your pitch instead of on their pitch.'
Huff's defensive misadventures extended to the seventh when he furiously backpedaled, twisting and turning in each direction while trying to track Thames' deep shot that hit his glove and bounced to the wall. Miles' single landed well away from Huff in right center, sending him scrambling.
``The first one I was going for it and thought I had a bead on it, but the shadows were kind of tough and I kind of lost it at the last second,' Huff said. ``The other one went over my head and was slicing, and I didn't know what the hell was happening after that.'
Huff insisted he feels comfortable since switching to right to make way for rookie Brandon Belt at first.
``Those plays weren't easy, guys,' he told reporters. ``You guys are acting like they're routine plays. I tried my best, but I didn't catch them.'
Bochy agreed, and praised Huff's aggressiveness.
``That's how I want these guys to play. I don't want them backing off,' he said. ``It's only going to get better for him with time, reading balls. It's not that easy changing positions like that.'
Hiroki Kuroda (1-0) allowed three runs and six hits - including homers to Pablo Sandoval and Pat Burrell - in seven innings. He struck out five, walked none and retired 14 consecutive batters during one stretch.
Jonathan Broxton pitched the ninth to earn his third save in as many games and 80th of his career, although he gave up a leadoff homer to pinch-hitter Aaron Rowand.
NOTES: Giants closer Brian Wilson threw to hitters before the game and could be activated from the DL on Wednesday. The team also could decide he needs to face more hitters. ``He was letting it go and wasn't hesitating on any pitch,' manager Bruce Bochy said. ``We don't want to hold him back too long.' Wilson has been on the DL with a strained muscle in his left side. ... Dodgers 3B Juan Uribe returned to the lineup after missing the last two games with a bruised left elbow.
The Associated Press News Service
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