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Mookie Betts homer, diving catch lead Dodgers over Giants

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Mookie Betts homer, diving catch lead Dodgers over Giants
Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts (C) reached base twice in a win over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday in Los Angeles. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

July 22 (UPI) -- Mookie Betts hit a go-ahead, three-run homer and then robbed former teammate Joc Pederson of an RBI hit for the final out of the game, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a win over the rival San Francisco Giants.

First baseman Freddie Freeman also homered in the 9-6 triumph Thursday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Dodgers starter Mitch White allowed just one hit over five shutout innings.

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"I'm just trying to do what I can to help the team win," Betts told reporters. "I had to do a couple different things, but God blessed me with those abilities."

Betts, who started for the National League in the All-Star Game on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium, went 1 for 4 with three RBIs, a run scored and a walk in Thursday's victory.

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White retired the Giants in order in the top of the first. Freeman then smacked a 407-foot solo shot to dead center field for a 1-0 Dodgers lead in the bottom of the inning.

Dodgers left fielder Trayce Thompson scored second baseman Hanser Alberto with an RBI double in the bottom of the second. The Dodgers then pushed the lead to 5-0 with three runs in the bottom of the third.

Designated hitter Justin Turner hit a two-run double to right for the first two runs of the half inning. Alberto then scored Turner with another double to left in the next at-bat.

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The Dodgers held the five-run lead for the next three innings, but the Giants responded tied the score in the top of the seventh.

Pederson flew out to left field to start the inning. Giants third baseman Evan Longoria then belted an 0-2 Phil Bickford fastball to left for a 407-foot solo homer.

Bickford issued a walk to right fielder Luis Gonzalez and allowed a single to shortstop Thairo Estrada. Alex Vesia, who replaced Bickford on the mound, then hit pinch hitter Austin Slater with a pitch to load the bases.

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Vesia struck out pinch hitter Yermin Mercedes in the next at-bat. He then allowed a 390-foot grand slam to Giants pinch hitter Darin Ruf, which tied the game.

Vesia struck out first baseman Brandon Belt in the next at-bat to end the inning.

The Dodgers found more trouble in the top of the eighth. Relief pitcher Evan Phillips issued two walks and allowed a Pederson double to load the bases at the start of the inning. He then walked Estrada, which gave the Giants a one-run lead.

But Phillips then retired Slater and Bart to end the inning. The Dodgers offense caught fire in the bottom of the eighth.

Pinch hitter Gavin Lux doubled in the second at-bat of the half-inning. Thompson ripped a game-tying RBI triple to left two at-bats later. Giants reliever Jarlin Garcia issued a walk to Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger, which brought Betts to the plate with two runners on base.

Betts worked up to a 1-1 count. He then smashed a Garcia changeup to left for a 406-foot, three-run homer.

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Dodgers reliever Craig Kimbrel struck out Ruf to start the ninth. Belt hit a single in the next at-bat. Giants second baseman Wilmer Flores followed with a fly out to Bellinger in center field, which brought Pederson to the plate.

The Giants left fielder smacked Kimbrel's first offering of the exchange deep to right field. Betts jumped into action as soon as the bat hit the ball. He sprinted to his left and ran toward the warning track. Betts then took a head-first dive toward the corner of the field and snagged the ball with his gloved left hand to end the game.

The Dodgers (61-30) will host the Giants (48-44) at 10:10 p.m. EDT Friday at Dodger Stadium.

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