AT&T Park was the theater for a pair of throwback outings from a pair of formerly broken pitchers, with the Giants taking the opener against the Dodgers, 2-1 on Monday night in San Francisco.
Matt Cain pitched six scoreless innings, allowing only two singles and a walk to a Dodgers offense that scored five or more runs in each of its previous three games. Cain only threw 70 pitches, and the only thing that got in his way was a visit from the team trainer as he was warming up for the seventh inning.
Cain departed with said trainer back to the clubhouse, for a myriad of reasons.
Right hamstring tightness for Cain. Also had X-ray on foot that came back negative.— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) April 25, 2017
Hyun-jin Ryu had his best start of the season. He was hit fairly hard early, and allowed a run in the second inning. He almost allowed a run in the first inning on a single by Buster Posey, but Yasiel Puig threw out Brandon Belt at the plate to temporarily keep the Giants off the scoreboard:
Run at your own risk. pic.twitter.com/i6JjzMbjNA— MLB (@MLB) April 25, 2017
Ryu improved as the game went on, and retired nine in a row at one point, into the sixth inning. With two runners on and two outs in the sixth inning, manager Dave Roberts visited the mound, but didn’t bring a hook with him. After hearing what he wanted to hear from Ryu, Roberts returned alone back to the dugout, and Ryu got Brandon Crawford to pop out to end his night, finishing six innings for a second consecutive start.
He allowed just the one run, and after giving up six home runs in his first three starts, including three in the last outing alone, Ryu induced seven ground ball outs on Monday night, while striking out three.
The Giants added an insurance run with two singles and a walk in the eighth against Adam Liberatore and Josh Fields, widening the lead to 2-0, which had to seem insurmountable to the Dodgers, given their performances in San Francisco in recent years.
But the Dodgers answered that insurance run immediately with a run of their own, also bunching together a walk and two singles to make the score 2-1.
But then with Corey Seager — you know, the Dodgers’ best hitter — at the plate with two outs, Chris Taylor tried to steal second and was unsuccessful, ending the threat.
Taylor was running on his own.— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) April 25, 2017
Mark Melancon allowed a hit to Justin Turner in the ninth inning, then advanced to second base with two outs as the tying run in scoring position. But inexplicably, Turner was caught stranded off second base by Posey to end the game.
#Dodgers Justin Turner on getting picked off to end game: "Just a bad, bad -- bad -- baseball play. That can't happen in that situation"— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) April 25, 2017
The Giants’ win snapped their four-game losing streak.
Since the start of the 2015 season, the Dodgers have scored 49 runs in 21 road games against the Giants (2.33 per game), including two or fewer runs 13 times.
The Dodgers are 4-17 in those games.
After an embarrassment of riches with 13 combined innings out of their starting pitchers in the last two games, the Dodgers will turn to workhorse Clayton Kershaw on Tuesday night in the second game of the series. Ty Blach, a lefty who threw 11 scoreless innings against the Dodgers last September, makes his first start of 2017 on Tuesday for the Giants.
Home runs: none
WP - Matt Cain (2-0): 6 IP, 2 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
LP - Hyun-jin Ryu (0-4): 6 IP, 5 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
Sv - Mark Melancon (4): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 strikeout