Nick Buss recorded his first major league hit and fellow Saturday call-up Alex Castellanos homered, but unfortunately for the Dodgers they already trailed by double-digit runs and got hammered by the Giants 19-3 at Dodger Stadium.
The 19 runs by the Giants are the most ever scored by any team at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers have scored 18 runs at Dodger Stadium just once, on Sept. 13, 1977 against San Diego. The Dodgers haven't allowed that many runs in any ballpark since the Cubs beat them 20-1 at Wrigley Field on May 5, 2001.
The loss means the absolute earliest they can mathematically clinch the National League West is on Monday, when they open a 10-game road trip in Phoenix against the Diamondbacks. The Dodgers lead Arizona by 11½ games with 14 games left to play.
Ricky Nolasco entered the game with 27 straight innings at Dodger Stadium without allowing an earned run, but that quickly vanished. The first five batters of the game reached with a double, a walk and three singles to plate two runs. The first out was recorded when Gregor Blanco was caught between second and third base, but that gift out was given right back on a fielding error by Juan Uribe at third base. A walk to Brandon Crawford with the bases loaded made it 3-0 Giants, but Nolasco was able to escape without further damage.
Yasiel Puig singled to open the first inning for the Dodgers, then caught the Giants napping by advancing to third base on a ground ball to shortstop when nobody covered the bad. Puig scored on a ground out by Adrian Gonzalez to cut the deficit to 3-1, and given the way Nolasco has pitched of late the Dodgers figured to chip away as the night went on.
But that didn't happen.
After an out to open the second, Blanco singled to center. Brandon Belt lofted a fly ball to shallow center, a ball dropped by Puig, one of several misplays in center field on the night. Nolasco certainly wasn't helped by his defense but he didn't do himself any favors by following the Puig error by allowing a walk, single and double for four more runs.
That was it for Nolasco, who had six straight quality starts and hadn't allowed more than seven runners to reach base in any of his last five outings. On Saturday Nolasco recorded just four outs, but he allowed seven hits, three walks, and seven runs, five of them earned.
It was Nolasco's fourth career start with no strikeouts, and his first since June 18, 2011.
- Puig recovered in center field to make a spectacular diving catch in the fifth inning but came up gingerly. He appeared to land on an area most in need of an athletic supporter. Puig was also hit by a pitch in the shoulder in the bottom of the frame and left the game after the inning, with the Dodgers trailing 12-3.
- Hunter Pence added a grand slam in the fifth inning, his third straight game in the series with a home run. Pence drove in seven on the night, the first Giant with seven RBI at Dodger Stadium since Barry Bonds on Oct. 1, 1993.
- Buss' first hit was a single to right field in his second at-bat against Tim Lincecum, in the fifth inning. Buss entered the game in left field for Carl Crawford in the fourth inning.
- Drew Butera made his Dodgers debut, coming into catch in the seventh inning.
- Onelki Garcia, who walked his only batter on four pitches in his MLB debut on Tuesday, made his second major league appearance on Saturday, and didn't fare much better. Garcia on Saturday walked three of his seven batters faced and also allowed a home run to Brandon Belt.
- Dee Gordon made his first major league appearance at second base, entering the game in the eighth inning. Gordon played 20 games at the position for Triple-A Albuquerque this season but his first 155 major league games in the field all came at shortstop.
- Giants catcher/first baseman Johnny Monell singled to right field against Peter Moylan in the eighth inning for his first major league hit, in his second major league game.
- The Dodgers bullpen threw 160 pitches on Saturday, in 7⅔ innings.
The Dodgers go for the series split on Sunday, sending Edinson Volquez to the mound against Ryan Vogelsong for the Giants.
Home runs: Alex Castellanos (1); Hunter Pence (23), Brandon Belt (16)
WP - Tim Lincecum (10-13): 6 IP, 5 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts
LP - Ricky Nolasco (13-10): 1⅓ IP, 7 hits, 7 runs (5 earned), 3 walks