It was anything but showtime for the Dodgers on Wednesday night.
For the third consecutive game the Giants scored before the Dodgers came to bat, and for the third straight game San Francisco made the lead hold up, beating the Dodgers 8-4 at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night.
The sweep by the Giants move the Dodgers to two and a half games back in the National League West. It's the largest deficit for the Dodgers since July 26, the day before the Dodgers began a weekend sweep of the Giants in San Francisco.
Each of the last three series between these two teams has ended in a sweep, with two of them falling in San Francisco's favor. The Giants hold a 7-5 edge in the season series, with six head-to-head games remaining.
The last time the Giants swept a three-game series at Dodger Stadium was April 24-26, 2007.
There were some positives for the Dodgers, however. They hit five doubles as a team, including two by Mark Ellis and one by Andre Ethier, his record-setting 30th of the season. Emerging cult hero Luis Cruz had two more hits and drove in two more runs.
In addition, the Dodgers saw the return of Rubby De La Rosa to the mound, a year and two weeks after Tommy John surgery.
Don Mattingly said on Tuesday that he planned to ease De La Rosa back into action, and there are few better times to return to the mound after 13 months than down 6-1 in the seventh inning.
De La Rosa faced four hitters, and walked two. He hit 96 on the gun and threw 10 balls and 10 strikes. Both runners scored on a double by Joaquin Arias off of Jamey Wright. Arias had two doubles and a home run on the night, and drove in five runs for the victors.
But more importantly De La Rosa got his first taste of MLB action since July 31, 2011.
The Dodgers rallied for three runs in the eighth inning, but it was too little too late. Matt Cain held the Dodgers to a run in seven innings, and picked up his 13th win of the season.
There was also a rarity at Dodger Stadium, a replay of a great play made by an opposing team on the video board in left field. Justin Christian robbed Juan Rivera in the seventh inning, covering an amazing amount of ground to make a diving catch, then after rolling over threw to the cutoff man while on his back.
The Dodgers announced just prior to game time that their pitching rotation for the weekend has changed. After Thursday's off day, Chad Billingsley and Clayton Kershaw will pitch the first two games of the weekend series against the Marlins. It puts Billingsley and Kershaw in line to possibly both pitch in the final two games in San Francisco on September 8-9, on regular rest.
Aaron Harang will start the Sunday finale against the Marlins, on seven days rest.
Home Runs: Joaquin Arias (3)
WP - Matt Cain (13-5): 7 IP, 7 hits, 1 run, 5 strikeouts
LP - Chris Capuano (11-9): 5 IP, 6 hits, 6 runs, 2 strikeouts