May 8, 2012 / 6:12 AM / in 6 years

Lilly improves to 4-0 as Dodgers slay Giants

(Reuters) - The Los Angeles Dodgers hammered division rivals San Francisco 9-1 on Monday as pitcher Ted Lilly maintained his spotless start to the season, improving to 4-0.

The 36-year-old gave up the tying run at the top of the sixth inning but the Dodgers hit back right away with two runs before adding another in the seventh and five in the eighth.

“I don’t think I’ve quite seen what I saw tonight,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy told reporters, or his team’s miscues. “It looked like we skipped Spring Training.”

Lily left the game after the sixth inning having allowed four hits with six strike outs and two walks to win his first four decisions of the season for the first time in his career.

The Dodgers were boosted by the presence of new co-owner Magic Johnson, who addressed the home crowd before the first pitch.

“I definitely thought the stadium had quite a lot of energy,” Lilly said. “We definitely felt it.”

A red-hot Matt Kemp went 3-for-3 at the plate and improved his batting average to .406 a day after he was held out of the starting lineup with a hamstring injury.

Andre Ethier and Juan Rivera each had two RBIs to help lead the Los Angeles assault

The win put Los Angeles (19-10) top of the National League, while San Francisco sank to 14-15.

Barry Zito took the loss after allowing three runs in six innings and the Dodgers did most of their damage against the Giants’ bullpen.

San Francisco’s pitching staff were hurt by the earlier announcement that reliever Guillermo Mota was suspended for 100 games for doping.

Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford/Patrick Johnston

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