LOS ANGELES -- The battle between Zack Greinke and Madison Bumgarner lived up to the billing and then some, and the Dodgers prevailed 2-1 over the Giants on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium for a second straight win and a 5½-game lead in the National League West.
Greinke pitched into the eighth inning, allowing only one run on five hits and struck out five, lowering his ERA to 1.59. Greinke has allowed zero or one run in 19 of 27 starts this season.
"It's good to have [Bumgarner] and Zack going against each other," manager Don Mattingly said before the game. "Zack will keep us in the game, and hopefully we're able to scratch a run. It's probably not going to be 7-6."
Both Bumgarner and Greinke batted with two on and two out in the second inning, and both were retired, though Greinke nearly had a two-run double, robbed on a fantastic diving catch by third baseman Matt Duffy.
Greinke was 0-for-3 at the plate but saw 16 pitches.
The Dodgers first run was very much scratched across, starting with a two-out bloop single by Jose Peraza in the third inning. Then after Bumgarner walked Justin Turner to move Peraza into scoring position, Adrian Gonzalez singled to left to bring home the speedster from second base.
That run looked like it might hold up for a while, until the Dodgers tacked on in the seventh.
Joc Pederson added the insurance run with a home run to right center field, just the second home run by a left-handed batter allowed by Bumgarner all season. The other was hit by Bryce Harper on July 4.
That insurance run proved to be huge, because Greinke remained in the game after seven scoreless innings and 106 pitches. In August, Greinke explained why he usually doesn't try to do too much in his starts.
"Whenever I've tried in the past to go deeper into games, it ended up backfiring," Greinke said on Aug. 11. "It changes how I pitch."
Whether that was a factor on Tuesday isn't yet known, but he allowed three straight one-out singles to pull the Giants within one run, and very much still threatening with the heart of the order due up.
Escape artist Luis Avilan was brought in to face Brandon Belt, who after a seven-pitch battle hit a ball headed up the middle that was flagged down by Peraza at second, followed by a flip to Jimmy Rollins, who turned the double play to end the threat and preserve the lead.
Kenley Jansen closed out the win with a scoreless ninth for his 28th save.
Greinke since joining the Dodgers is 7-0 against the Giants in eight starts with a 1.86 ERA.
The Dodgers' magic number to clinch the National League West is 26.
Home run: Joc Pederson (24)
WP - Zack Greinke (15-3): 7⅓ IP, 5 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts
LP - Madison Bumgarner (16-7): 7 IP, 8 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts
Sv - Kenley Jansen (28): 3 up, 3 down