Darrell Evans and Jeff Leonard hit two-run homers and Reggie Smith had three hits against his former teammates yesterday as the San Francisco Giants defeated the Dodgers, 8-6, in Los Angeles.
The Giants' 12th victory in their last 14 games put them four games behind first-place Los Angeles in the NL West. The defeat was only the fourth in the last 18 games for the Dodgers, whose three-run rally in the ninth fell short.
It was the Giants' fourth straight victory over Fernando Valenzuela, who gave up eight hits and five runs in three innings. That was the earliest Valenzuela (15-9) had been knocked out of a game since he came to the major leagues in 1980.
"The critics don't take us for real. That's okay with me," said Giants Manager Frank Robinson. "We're playing outstanding ball and the club believes in itself."
Winner Bill Laskey (12-8) allowed one hit in five innings, then was forced to leave the game with a sore right shoulder.
Steve Garvey's two-run double in the eighth made it 8-3. Dusty Baker singled in a run in the ninth, then Greg Minton got his 21st save despite Ron Cey's two-run single.