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Clayton Kershaw gives Dodgers a leg up

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MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers found themselves on the right side of one of their classic low-scoring affairs in San Francisco, prevailing on Tuesday by the same score that struck them down the night before, earning a 2-1 win over the Giants in the second game of a four-game series at AT&T Park.

After losses in their first four one-run contests of 2017, the Dodgers finally nabbed a victory.

All it took was finally scoring a run against Ty Blach, who ran his personal scoreless streak against Los Angeles to 14 innings before the Dodgers started the fourth inning with a walk and two singles to tie the game at 1-1, the tying run brought home on an RBI knock from Yasiel Puig.

A night after the game ended on a throw from Buster Posey to Brandon Crawford, Posey was at first base on Tuesday, and his throw to Crawford on a ground ball by Adrian Gonzalez nearly started a 3-6-2 double play. But the throw home got away from catcher Nick Hundley, and this time Justin Turner was safe, for a 2-1 lead.

Clayton Kershaw made it hold up, even if it looked earlier like his night might have ended prematurely.

The third inning was especially frustrating for Kershaw, starting in the top of the frame. Kershaw grounded out but while running to first base almost immediate pulled up lame, appearing to favor his right leg. He winced walking back to the dugout but stayed in the game.

This stemmed from the first play of the game, when Kershaw was hit by a Hunter Pence comebacker before recovering to throw him out.

In the bottom of the third inning, Kershaw allowed a fly ball to deep left center field. A catchable ball in normal circumstances, but with center fielder Kiké Hernandez and left fielder Cody Bellinger playing incredibly shallow the ball fell for a double for the pitcher Blach, now 3-for-5 against Kershaw in his career. Kershaw’s reaction to the hit was priceless:

A ground ball to second base off the mound followed, but Chris Taylor couldn’t throw to first in time, giving the Giants a real scoring opportunity. Kershaw responded with two strikeouts, then got Buster Posey to roll over to shortstop, only to see the ball get under Corey Seager’s glove for an RBI single and a 1-0 lead.

After the third inning, Kershaw retired 12 of his final 14 batters faced, and struck out seven in his seven innings for his fourth win.

Pedro Baez got the first two outs of the eighth inning before Kenley Jansen was brought in to face Posey and attempt a four-out save.

Posey and Crawford singled off Jansen, but he struck out Brandon Belt on a full count to end the threat, then set the Giants down in order in the ninth for his fifth save.

The debut

Cody Bellinger was 1-for-3 with a walk in his major league debut. The walk was intentional, making him just the third Dodger since at least 1913 to be intentionally walked in their major league debut, joining Chico Fernandez (1956) and Dick Nen (1963).

Bellinger’s first hit was an infield grounder near third base which, against the shift, was in no man’s land enough for Bellinger to beat the throw to first base. Neil Ramirez was the pitcher.

Up next

The Dodgers continue their parade of left-handed pitchers, starting Alex Wood on Wednesday night, another 7:15 p.m. PT start. Johnny Cueto starts for the Giants.

Tuesday particulars

Home runs: none

WP - Clayton Kershaw (4-1): 7 IP, 6 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts

LP - Ty Blach (0-1): 5 IP, 4 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Sv - Kenley Jansen (5): 1⅓ IP, 2 hits, 2 strikeouts