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Giants 4, Dodgers 3: Home runs hard to swallow

The Dodgers have lost eight of their last 11 games.

Stephen Dunn

LOS ANGELES -- Hunter Pence continued his rampage through Los Angeles on Sunday, but it was a pinch-hit home run by Brett Pill that gave the Giants a 4-3 victory over the depleted Dodgers in the series finale at Dodger Stadium. The loss was the third straight for the Dodgers.

The Dodgers loaded the bases in the ninth inning against closer Sergio Romo, but a strikeout by Mark Ellis and a groundout by pinch-hitter Yasiel Puig (so much for two weeks, huh?) ended the game.

With the loss, coupled with Arizona's 8-2 win over Colorado, the Dodgers' magic number to clinch the National League West remains four. The Dodgers have a 10½-game lead over the Diamondbacks with 13 left to play.

The home run by Pill, his third of the season, was the second allowed by Paco Rodriguez in September, after allowing two home runs in his career entering the month.

Pence continued his assault with a second-inning home run, his fourth of the series, for a 1-0 Giants lead. Pence is the first player to hit a home run in four consecutive games at Dodger Stadium since Matt Kemp in August 2011. The record is five straight games, by Gary Sheffield in 1999-2000.

Juan Uribe, who already had four home runs this week entering Sunday, looked like he tied it with one swing in the fourth inning but his drive to center field, out of the reach of Gregor Blanco, barely missed clearing the wall. After the confusion, and a review by the umpires, Uribe settled for a stand-up triple to leadoff the inning.

But despite the leadoff triple, Uribe was stranded at third base after a strikeout by Skip Schumaker, a line out to shortstop by Jerry Hairston and a line out to center field by A.J. Ellis to end the inning.

The Dodgers rallied again in the fifth inning, loaded the bases with one out thanks in part to an infield single by pitcher Edinson Volquez. Adrian Gonzalez cashed them all in with a three-run double into the right field corner to give the Dodgers the lead.

Up 3-1, Volquez cruised into the sixth but a two-out single by Brandon Belt brought Pence up the plate again. Volquez's 88th and final pitch ended up in the Dodgers bullpen as Pence hit another one out, his second of the game and fifth in the series, to tie the game at 3-3.

In the four-game series Pence was 8-for-17 (.471) with five home runs, seven runs scored and 12 RBI.

Volquez ended up with a no-decision, but struck out seven and walked none on the day in his 5⅔ innings. Volquez has 16 strikeouts and one walk in 16⅔ innings since joining the Dodgers.

Up next

The Dodgers head out to Arizona to battle the Diamondbacks, needing two wins in four games to clinch the division in Phoenix. Hyun-Jin Ryu gets the start for the Dodgers in Monday night's opener, facing Trevor Cahill for Arizona.

Sunday particulars

Home runs: Hunter Pence 2 (25), Brett Pill (3)

WP - Jean Machi (3-1): 1 IP, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

LP - Paco Rodriguez (3-3): ⅔ IP, 1 hit, 1 run

Sv - Sergio Romo (35): 1 IP, 2 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout