Well that was fun while it lasted. One day after reaching the .500 mark for the first time since May 2, the Dodgers fell back under water on Sunday with an 8-1 drubbing at the hands of the Giants, snapping a four-game winning streak for the Dodgers. The Dodgers have lost on four consecutive Sundays.
At least we got to see the major league debut of catcher Tim Federowicz, who caught the bottom of the eighth inning and got an assist on his first batter, throwing to first base to complete a strikeout of Emmanuel Burriss. Federowicz struck out swinging in the ninth inning in his first major league plate appearance, against Waldis Joaquin.
Hiroki Kuroda didn't give up any home runs on Sunday, which automatically made today an improvement over Monday in Washington D.C., but he still struggled. His pitch count was up in the early innings, and he allowed doubles in four consecutive innings. Kuroda was able to strand two of the first three, but the second of three two-baggers for Pablo Sandoval, a ball that ricocheted off the heel of the glove of a leaping Tony Gwynn Jr. at the left field wall in the bottom of the fifth, broke a 1-1 tie by driving in Jeff Keppinger. Sandoval subsequently scored on a single by Aubrey Huff, and Kuroda's day was done.
Kuroda is the first Dodger to lose 16 games in a season since Orel Hershiser in 1987.
Madison Bumgarner started out the game with half a Deshaies, striking out the first four Dodgers of the game. Jim Deshaies, now a broadcaster for the Houston Astros, was a flame-throwing rookie for Houston when he struck out the first eight Dodgers he faced on September 23, 1986, setting the major league record for most consecutive strikeouts to open a game.
Bumgarner allowed just one run and struck out eight on the day, but his day was done early too, leaving after throwing 101 pitches in five innings. Bumgarner has 32 strikeouts in his last three starts.
The Giants hung a five-spot against Hong-Chih Kuo, Josh Lindblom, and Scott Elbert in the bottom of the sixth to blow the game wide open.
Dee Gordon walked in the top of the fifth inning, ending a string of 105 consecutive plate appearances without a walk for the rookie shortstop, who now has three walks in 159 PA on the season. That isn't the longest streak without a walk by a Dodger this year though, as Aaron Miles went 119 plate appearances without a free pass from April 29 to June 11.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, after a leadoff double by Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford grounded a ball to Juan Rivera at first base. Rivera booted the easy out initially, but as he was running away from first base toward right field to try to retrieve the ball, Rivera grabbed the ball with his right hand and flipped in one motion between his legs to a covering Kuroda at first base for the out. Belt was stranded at third base that inning, at the time preserving a 1-1 tie.
The Dodgers open up a 10-game homestand Monday night against the playoff-bound Arizona Diamondbacks. Ted Lilly starts tomorrow for the Dodgers, facing Joe Saunders for Arizona.
WP -Madison Bumgarner (11-12): 5 IP, 3 hits, 1 run, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts
LP - Hiroki Kuroda (11-16): 4 2/3 IP, 8 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts