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Dodgers off balance all night against Giants

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

The Dodgers continue to play in San Francisco like they are wearing shoes on the wrong feet, the latest misstep a 8-4 defeat at the hands of the Giants on Monday night at AT&T Park.

The game was tied at 1-1 in the fourth inning, because most Dodgers-Giants games are close affairs. Three straight hits, including a double by Brandon Crawford off the glove of fill-in first baseman Chase Utley, gave the Giants a go-ahead run.

Then, Eduardo Nunez grounded a ball up the middle that was fielded on the outfield grass by shortstop Corey Seager. It was good enough to score one run, and Crawford kept running as Seager threw toward home.

Starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy, seeing Nunez stray off first base in front of him, cut the ball off, not realizing Crawford was a dead duck behind him. By the time McCarthy realize, he twirled toward home, then completed the 360 back toward second base just in time to make a throw too late to even get Nunez at second (in fairness to McCarthy, there was nobody yet at the bag to receive said throw had it been on time).

Before the Yakety Sax soundtrack could be stopped, Nunez picked McCarthy’s pocket and stole third base, then scored easily on a sacrifice fly.

All of a sudden it was 5-1 and the Dodgers were too stunned to realize they also weren’t getting anything on offense against Matt Cain. Again.

Cain kept the Dodgers off balance all night, allowing one run in 6⅔ innings, with five strikeouts and three walks. Cain has allowed all of one run in 12 innings this year against the Dodgers, and against everybody else has a 5.46 ERA.

After only reaching 90 pitches once this season, Cain was allowed to pitch the seventh inning on Monday even with 98 pitches through six. He recorded two outs in the seventh, and his 112 pitches were his most in a start since Apr. 12, 2014.

Adding to his night, Cain singled with two outs in the sixth inning, ending McCarthy’s night.

Much like their opener at Coors Field, a 10-0 deficit turned into a 10-7 loss, the Dodgers entered the ninth on Monday down 8-1 but rallied for a pair of runs against a pair of pitchers, forcing Bruce Bochy to call on acting closer Derek Law in a game he didn’t think he would have to pitch.

A passed ball brought home another run to make the score 8-4, but that’s where it ended, with Law recording the final two outs.

The Dodgers have lost 19 of their last 25 games in San Francisco.

Up next

Rich Hill gets the start on Tuesday night, with the main question of how will the Dodgers make roster room for him. The Giants will also go with a left-hander, with Ty Blach starting the middle game of the series, another 7:15 p.m. PT start.

Monday particulars

Home run: Buster Posey (7)

WP - Matt Cain (3-1): 6⅔ IP, 5 hits, 1 run, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts

LP - Brandon McCarthy (3-1): 5⅔ IP, 8 hits, 6 runs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts