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MLB: San Francisco 8, LA Dodgers 4

Aug. 23, 2012 at 1:20 AM

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Joaquin Arias drove in five runs with two doubles and a homer Wednesday, leading San Francisco to an 8-4 win and a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Giants began the crucial series a half game behind the Dodgers and emerged with a 2 1/2-game advantage nearing the final month of the regular season.

Arias came into the game with two home runs and 21 RBI in 246 at-bats this season, but erupted with a big night that included three of the Giants' eight hits.

Angel Pagan opened the San Francisco first with a double off Chris Capuano (11-9) and moved to third on a single by Marco Scutaro.

Pablo Sandoval's sacrifice fly delivered Pagan with the first run of the game and Arias then hit a two-out homer to right to make it 3-0.

Arias doubled home another score during a three-run sixth and he added a two-run double in the seventh.

Matt Cain (13-5) allowed a run on seven hits with five strikeouts over seven innings to get the win. It was Cain's third win in as many starts after he had failed to pick up a victory in six straight appearances.

The Dodgers scored three runs in the eighth on an RBI double by Matt Kemp and a two-run single by Luis Cruz.

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