clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Charlie Culberson makes Dodgers win worth the wait

New, 176 comments

After stranding four leadoff doubles, the Dodgers cashed in a one-out double in the 10th.

Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

Charlie Culberson doubled down the right field line to drive home the game-winning run, ending a game's worth of frustration and missed opportunities by the Dodgers, who somehow hung around to beat the Giants 3-2 in 10 innings, an inverse of Friday's distasteful defeat.

Culberson started at shortstop, then later moved to left field, a position he hadn't played in the majors or minors since 2013. He took to the position immediately, however, laying out to make a diving catch to rob Angel Pagan of extra bases in the eighth inning.

At the plate Culberson was 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles, including the game-winner, knocking in Corey Seager, who doubled against George Kontos with one out in the 10th.

It ended a long day that started with a 41-minute rain delay. But this time the Dodgers came out on top.

Clayton Kershaw was efficient, allowing only four hits and needing just 91 pitches in his eight innings, walking one and striking out five. But two of those hits left the yard, which had him trailing when lifted for a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning.

He lasted two innings longer and threw fewer pitches than Madison Bumgarner, but the Giants ace pitched out of jams to allow just one run in his six frames, throwing 102 pitches.

But it was at the plate where Bumgarner seized the day on Saturday, crushing a ball into the left field seats in the second inning, a result that stunned Kershaw.

In 454 career plate appearances against pitchers, Kershaw has allowed only two home runs. Both by Bumgarner, who is just the 17th player with multiple career home runs against Kershaw, with Adam Dunn's four the most by any one player.

But it wasn't necessarily the home run by Bumgarner that was the surprise; after all, he has 10 home runs since the start of 2014. It was instead the line drive into the left field seats in the fifth inning by No. 9 hitter Ehire Adrianza, who entered Saturday with a lifetime batting line of .213/.295/.296 in 264 plate appearances, with one home run.

Make that two.

The Dodgers loaded the bases in the first inning with two outs and in the third inning with one out, and the only run to show for it in those frames came thanks to a pitch that grazed the right elbow of Scott Van Slyke.

Van Slyke would leave the game right after the hit by pitch, but not because of elbow pain. He had lower back tightness.

Leadoff doubles in the first (by Kike Hernandez), fourth (Culberson) and sixth (Joc Pederson) innings were all stranded by Bumgarner, who struck out eight in his six innings. Five of those eight strikeouts came with runners in scoring position, a situation on Saturday in which the Dodgers were 1-for-13 against the Giants ace.

Another leadoff double was wasted in the eighth inning, this one by Adrian Gonzalez, who had the chance to bat again in a big spot in the ninth inning. After Justin Turner walked to load the bases with one out and the Dodgers down 2-1, Gonzalez faced closer Santiago Casilla.

Gonzalez grounded what would have been a game-ending double play, but the ball was bobbled by second baseman Kelby Tomlinson, who only had one play, to retire Gonzalez at first base. That allowed the tying run to score and granted the Dodgers new life, despite going 1-for-18 (with two hit by pitches) with runners in scoring position.

Make that 2-for-21.

Culberson's heroics made a winner out of Chris Hatcher, who allowed the game-tying home run to spoil Ross Stripling's hitless big league debut on Friday night. Less than 24 hours later, Hatcher allowed a leadoff single to Buster Posey in the ninth inning but worked around it to strikeout the side.

Kenley Jansen retired the Giants in the 10th to record his second save of the season.

Up next

The Dodgers will try for the series split on Sunday afternoon in the series finale with Scott Kazmir on the mound, facing Johnny Cueto for San Francisco.

Saturday particulars

Home runs: Madison Bumgarner (1), Ehire Adrianza (1)

WP - Chris Hatcher (1-0): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

LP - George Kontos (0-1): IP, 2 hits, 1 run

Sv - Kenley Jansen (2): 1 IP, 1 strikeout