SAN FRANCISCO -- Before the second game of a three-game set with the rival Los Angeles Dodgers, Giants manager Bruce Bochy was told that he had a 7-9 record on his birthday.

Bochy, who turned 59 on Wednesday, insisted on adding the first game of this series to that record since the extra-inning win was clinched at 12:14 a.m. Wednesday.

Late Wednesday, the longtime manager received yet another birthday victory, thanks to a vintage performance from Ryan Vogelsong and a clutch hit from slumping third baseman Pablo Sandoval.

The Giants edged the Dodgers 2-1 at AT&T Park to clinch their fourth series win in five tries this season. Both of the wins that were finalized Wednesday came by a single run.

"We'd like to have some ones where we can relax a little more, but a win is a win," Vogelsong said. "These kinds of games, we're kind of used to them. You take them any way you can get them."

Vogelsong pushed aside two inconsistent outings to start the season to give up one run over six-plus innings. He faced the minimum through the first five innings, throwing just 56 pitches as the Giants swiped three outs. Dee Gordon led off the game with a single but was wiped out on a double play. Matt Kemp walked with one out in the second but was picked off first base. Juan Uribe hit a leadoff single in the third but was caught stealing on a botched hit-and-run attempt.


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Buster Posey gave Vogelsong an early lead with a third-inning single to right field that brought Hunter Pence racing in from second, but the veteran right-hander couldn't hold on. He walked opposing pitcher Paul Maholm with two outs in the sixth and Gordon golfed a breaking ball into the gap for an RBI triple.

Still, Vogelsong finished with what was by far his best line of the season. He threw a first-pitch strike to 16 of 22 batters and held his mechanics throughout, something that was an issue for him during spring training and in his first two starts.

"He stayed consistent with his delivery," Bochy said. "Tonight, he stayed in sync and had good command throughout the game. He pounded the strike zone."

The Vogelsong who glared in from the mound Wednesday night was the one the Giants had hoped to see when they gave him a one-year deal in the offseason and locked him into the fifth spot in the rotation.

"I finally got the results I've been looking for," Vogelsong said. "I've been working real hard on the side. It just kind of all came together for me."

The bullpen has come together, too, with Jean Machi joining stalwarts Sergio Romo, Javier Lopez and Santiago Casilla to get the Giants through the late innings. Machi entered with two runners on and no outs in the seventh and struck out Kemp. After an infield single, he got Uribe to hit into an inning-ending double play.

"What an unbelievable job he's done," said Romo, who picked up his fourth save of the season. "We've put the guy in pretty much every situation and he's done well."

The stellar pitching couldn't come at a better time for the Giants. The bats have cooled a bit, and a few hours after leaving 16 runners on base, the Giants stranded eight and went 2 for 9 with runners in scoring position.

Sandoval came through in the seventh, though, hitting a broken-bat RBI single up the middle after the Dodgers had intentionally walked Pence to get a better matchup. Sandoval, who is hitting just .186, said he agreed with the move. He took advantage of it, too.

"I just tried to play pepper," he said. "Go back up the middle of the field."

Sandoval's knock clinched the fourth win in five games against the Dodgers this season.

  • Dodgers star shortstop Hanley Ramirez was knocked out in the seventh when a Vogelsong fastball came in on his hands. Ramirez slammed his helmet down and held his left hand as he was taken off the field, but X-rays were negative.

    The Giants have their own bumps and bruises. Shortstop Brandon Crawford missed Wednesday's game with a tight right hamstring but expects to start Thursday. Sandoval hurt his knuckle on his game-winning hit but said it isn't serious.

  • Left-hander Jeremy Affeldt (sprained right MCL) came off the disabled list before the game. To clear a roster spot, the Giants optioned fifth outfielder Juan Perez to Triple-A Fresno.

    "Ideally, you don't like carrying 13 pitchers, but in this case we're better off going this way," Bochy said. "As we get into this, hopefully we get quality starts -- a lot of quality starts -- so we can go back to 12 pitchers."

    Wednesday's outing by Vogelsong was just the fifth quality start in 15 games for the rotation.

    For more on the Giants, see Alex Pavlovic's Giants Extra blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/Giants. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/AlexPavlovic.

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    THURSDAY'S GAME
    L.A. Dodgers (Hyun-Jin Ryu 2-1) at Giants (Madison Bumgarner 2-0), 12:45 p.m. CSNBA