Series: Game 1 of 3

LA Dodgers leads 1-0 (as of 4/16)

Game 1: Friday, April 16
LA Dodgers3Final
San Francisco2
Game 2: Saturday, April 17
LA Dodgers5Final
San Francisco4
Game 3: Sunday, April 18
LA Dodgers7Final
San Francisco6

Dodgers 3

(7-3, 3-1 away)

Giants 2

(5-5, 2-2 home)

    10:15 PM ET, April 16, 2004

    AT&T Park, San Francisco, California 

    123456789 R H E
    LA 100001001 3 4 0
    SF 000000002 2 3 0

    W: O. Perez (1-1)

    L: J. Schmidt (0-1)

    S: E. Gagne (3)

    Perez allows two hits, strikes out 10

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- With a three-run lead and only one runner on base, even the Los Angeles Dodgers could enjoy the classic confrontation between Barry Bonds and Eric Gagne.

    Bonds got the best of the reigning NL Cy Young winner, hitting his 662nd homer Friday night. But it wasn't enough for the San Francisco Giants because Odalis Perez pitched eight scoreless innings and led Los Angeles to a 3-2 victory.

    "I loved it," Gagne said. "That was my best time in baseball there. He's the best ever. There will never be anyone like Barry Bonds."

    Bonds won the power vs. power matchup. One pitch after pulling a 101 mph fastball into McCovey Cove -- but far foul -- he turned on another hard one from Gagne for his fourth homer of the year.

    "That guy was just throwing straight cheddar," Bonds said.

    Even the Dodgers enjoyed the big hit by their biggest rival because Bonds was unable to tie the game. Had the situation been different, Gagne might not have challenged Bonds.

    Instead, the fans got a memorable moment on a night that began with a tribute to Bonds for moving into third place on the career homer list earlier this week.

    "The home run was about as classic a matchup as you'll ever see in major league baseball," Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. "I don't know if any other player in baseball with that sequence of pitches could have had an at-bat like that."

    Gagne recovered to retire Pedro Feliz and Edgardo Alfonzo to end it, earning his third save of the season and record 66th straight since Aug. 28, 2002.

    Bonds' shot overshadowed the real star of the game. Perez (1-1) allowed two hits and struck out 10 to outpitch Jason Schmidt, who took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning in his first appearance since offseason elbow surgery.

    "The pitching performance by Odalis Perez was as good as you can do it," Tracy said. "He was terrific to say the least."

    Los Angeles used small ball to win. Milton Bradley drove in Dave Roberts three times with groundouts to help the Dodgers get off to a better start than last year against their rivals. Los Angeles lost the first five meetings between the teams in 2003 and finished 15{ games behind the first-place Giants in the NL West.

    "You can't hit them like Bonds all the time," Bradley said. "In those situations all we needed was a groundball."

    The Dodgers won even though star slugger Shawn Green missed the game with a strained right groin. They didn't need much offense the way Perez pitched. The Giants' only hits against Perez were a pair of doubles by Alfonzo.

    Bonds popped up to third base in his first at-bat and walked with two outs and nobody on in the fourth inning. He finally got a chance to hit with a man on base in the sixth when Marquis Grissom reached on a third-strike wild pitch with two outs.

    With fans waving orange rally towels, Perez bore down and struck out Bonds on three pitches. The only other pitcher to strike out Bonds this season was Houston's Roger Clemens, who did it twice.

    "That's the best I've ever seen Perez pitch," Bonds said. "If you throw like that, you have a chance to win a lot of games."

    The Giants' best chance to score against Perez came when Alfonzo led off the fifth with a double. After he was bunted to third, rookie Cody Ransom popped up and Schmidt struck out.

    Schmidt, who led the National League in ERA last season, was almost as tough. He was touched for a run in the first even though he didn't allow a hit until Roberts' soft liner fell in front of a diving Bonds in left field with one out in the sixth.

    Roberts went to third when Cesar Izturis slapped a hit-and-run single through the hole vacated by Ransom at second base and scored when the Giants couldn't turn a double play on Bradley's grounder to shortstop.

    Schmidt consistently hit the mid-90s with his fastball in his first start since the operation. He started to feel shoulder stiffness near the end of the spring and began the season on the disabled list. He allowed just three hits and three walks in seven innings, striking out four.

    "It felt like I had never been out there before," Schmidt said. "It will take a while to figure out what I did last year. But I got out of there with my arm still attached."

    The Dodgers manufactured a run in the first inning. Roberts led off with a walk, went to second on a sacrifice, stole third and scored on Bradley's groundout.

    Bradley added an RBI groundout in the ninth.

    Game notes

    Willie Mays still has a large lead on Bonds in one category. Mays' 98 career homers against the Dodgers are the most ever, edging out Hank Aaron with 95. With expansion limiting the number of games against each team, Bonds has 53. ... Gagne became the 14th Cy Young winner to give up a home run to Bonds.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press