The Dodgers couldn't solve the ghost of Tim Lincecum, and were puzzled all night by Justin Maxwell and Brandon Crawford, dropping the series opener to the Giants 6-2 on Tuesday night at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
No more seven-game winning streak.
The game for the most part revolved around the Giants getting the key hit or making the key play, while the Dodgers didn't, and in most of the San Francisco treats either Maxwell or Crawford, or both, was heavily involved.
After Maxwell lined a two-out triple just under the glove of a diving Joc Pederson in left center field, Crawford followed with a tremendous drag bunt single to plate the Giants' first run.
In the fourth inning after the Giants' fourth infield single of the night, Crawford followed with a broken-bat double to right field, putting runners on second and third. Then with two outs Norichika Aoki reached on the Giants' fifth infield single of the night, a ground ball up along the first base line that ended with an errant flip from Adrian Gonzalez and pitcher Brett Anderson on the ground to prevent the ball from going into the camera well adjacent to the Dodgers dugout.
Two runs scored on the play to give the Giants a 4-0 lead.
The Dodgers threatened against Lincecum off and on, but also hit into four double plays in his six innings, the final one in the sixth as spectacular as you will ever see. Started by Crawford, with a tremendous turn at second base by Joe Panik.
Chemistry can’t be taught. pic.twitter.com/UJZoDsC5nI— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) April 22, 2015
The Dodgers got solid relief work out of Juan Nicasio, Adam Liberatore and Pedro Baez to hold the Giants at bay into the eighth.
A pair of walks in the top of the eighth gave the Dodgers the tying run at the plate, but Yasiel Puig — with two hits on the night — flew out in foul territory on a great sliding catch in deep right field by Maxwell, then Adrian Gonzalez hit into a shift-aided 4-1 groundout that kept the deficit 4-1.
After banging his knee against the wall while making his great catch in the top of the inning, Maxwell stayed in the game and looked perfectly healthy while hitting a no-doubter home run to left field off Baez to widen the Giants' margin.
Down five, the Dodgers loaded the bases with two outs against Jean Machi in the ninth inning, but Santiago Casilla, after a run-scoring wild pitch, retired Justin Turner to end the game.
Anderson, eventually (after a reminder visit from third base coach Lorenzo Bundy) trying to lay down a sacrifice bunt in the third inning, walked for the first time in his career, in his 25th plate appearance.
Alex Guerrero doubled home Juan Uribe in the fifth inning for the Dodgers' first run. Guerrero is 2-for-5 with a home run and a double as a pinch hitter this season.
Liberatore retired his first three batters faced on Tuesday, including a double play to end the sixth inning to retire an inherited runner, before allowing a single to Angel Pagan, snapping a string of 12 straight batters retired to open his career.
One of the best pitching matchups of the season takes place on Wednesday night, with Clayton Kershaw and his big top performances against the Giants facing off against Madison Bumgarner and his three-ring circus.
Home run: Justin Maxwell (1)
WP - Tim Lincecum (1-1): 6 IP, 5 hits, 1 run, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts
LP - Brett Anderson (1-1): 4 IP, 9 hits, 4 runs, 1 strikeout
Sv - Santiago Casilla (5): 1 up, 1 down