After nearly a week of offensive futility, the Dodgers came alive in the final three innings, energized by Dee Gordon, rallying for a 6-2 comeback win over the Giants on Saturday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.
Gordon was 2-for-3 with a walk, three stolen bases, and two runs scored. His double in the seventh inning, just out of the reach of a drawn-in Pablo Sandoval at third, gave the Dodgers their first lead at 3-2. It was one of three doubles in the two-run seventh, along with Drew Butera and Yasiel Puig.
The runs were a welcome surprise for the Dodgers, who scored four runs total in their previous three games combined.
The Dodgers put a runner in scoring position in both the first and third innings, but each time they stranded someone at third base. Otherwise they didn't do much against Matt Cain in the first five innings, so much so that at the third inning Vin Scully on the SportsNet LA broadcast said, "Right now the Dodgers are on a treadmill to oblivion."
Giants catcher Hector Sanchez took a pair of foul tips directly off the mask, and was examined by team trainers after the second one, off the bat of Puig in the sixth. One batter later, Sanchez dropped a foul pop up behind the plate by Hanley Ramirez, who later walked to knock Cain from the game.
That loaded the bases with nobody out, down 2-0. After just two runs in their last 32 innings, it was fitting that it took a double play for the Dodgers to finally push a run across. But after the twin killing off the bat of Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Kemp followed with a single to bring home the tying run.
Zack Greinke before Saturday hadn't yet pitched with the bases loaded this season, but was immediately greeted with that situation in the first inning with two outs. He struck out Pablo Sandoval to get out of that jam, but it happened again in the next frame.
After a single by Brandon Crawford and a walk to Brandon Hicks, Greinke fielded Matt Cain's sacrifice bunt quickly and had a play to get the lead runner, only third baseman Chone Figgins was not at third base. Greinke didn't have time to get Cain at first base, so the bases were loaded again. Two fly balls and a single later, the Giants led 2-0.
Figgins, starting at third base in place of the hamstrung Juan Uribe, also made a throwing error in the third inning.
Greinke settled in, allowing only a walk, two singles and a hit by pitch after the second, and struck out eight in his seven innings of work.
Brian Wilson made things interesting, as he has all season, loading the bases in the eighth inning with a 4-2 lead, but struck out two and got Hunter Pence to pop out foul to catcher Drew Butera to end the threat. Wilson in his last six appearances has allowed 11 runners to reach base, but also has 10 strikeouts during that span.
For good measure the Dodgers scored two more runs in the eighth inning, highlighted by an opposite field home run by Kemp, his first home run since April 26. Kemp was 2-for-4 Saturday and is 13-for-28 (.464) in his last eight games, including hits in each of his last seven starts.
Greinke has allowed two or fewer runs in 20 consecutive starts, the longest streak in baseball dating back to at least 1914.
Gordon expanded his major league-leading total to 24 steals on the year. Gordon has stolen 11 bases in 11 games in May, a total that would put him just one behind the major league lead for the whole season.
Puig's hittting streak has now reached 10 games, a new career high, during which time he is hitting .415 (16-for-41).
Carl Crawford singled, stole second and scored in the eighth inning, extending his hitting streak to seven games, hitting .500 (12-for-24)
Like they have in their previous two series against the Giants in 2014, the Dodgers lost the first two games then won the third. On Sunday afternoon, the Dodgers send ace Clayton Kershaw to the mound looking for a series split, against Tim Hudson for San Francisco.
Home run: Matt Kemp (5)
WP - Zack Greinke (6-1): 7 IP, 6 hits, 2 runs, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts
LP - Jeremy Affeldt (0-1): 1⅔ IP, 3 hits, 2 runs, 1 strikeout