SAN FRANCISCO -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly on Saturday defended his decision to stay with starting pitcher Josh Beckett in the decisive seventh inning of Friday night's 5-2 loss to the Giants.
Beckett had pitched beyond the sixth inning only twice in his previous 11 starts, including his most recent start for the Dodgers on Sept. 1, when he went 6 1/3 innings.
The previous inning, Beckett allowed a run without a ball leaving the infield. But Hector Sanchez led off the seventh with a single to right and stole second base. Brandon Crawford walked on four pitches and Emmanuel Burriss bunted the runners over. Angel Pagan was walked intentionally to load the bases and, with Brandon League warming up, Mattingly went to the mound but left Beckett in to face Marco Scutaro.
Mattingly said letting Beckett start the seventh inning was an easy decision because his pitch count was 78.
"The only question was, should I have brought in Brandon to face Scutaro?" Mattingly said. "[League] was ready. But Josh had handled him twice and he said he's got this guy."
Scutaro blooped a broken-bat single to right to score the tiebreaking runs.