LOS ANGELES — There wasn’t much offense at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night, but the baseball was still pretty entertaining. It didn’t end well for the Dodgers, however, who succumbed to a three-run 11th-inning rally by the Giants in a 4-1 loss to close out the series.
It was the third extra-inning game in the last five meetings between these two teams, all within the last eight days. In seven meetings this season, the Dodgers and Giants have played four one-run games, and two other games that went to extras tied at 1-1.
San Francisco did most of the offensive threatening all night, leaving 11 on base through 10 innings. But three hits and two walks against Grant Dayton in the 11th produced three runs for the win, with the go-ahead run delivered on an RBI double by Gorkys Hernandez.
The only way both teams scored in regulation was thanks to a misplay that sent a player to third.
In the sixth inning, it was a pop-up by Yasiel Puig down the line in shallow right filed to open the sixth inning, and caught a break when the ball popped out of Joe Panik’s glove. Puig kept running and beat the throw to third for a three-base error. Puig scored on a single by Chris Taylor, one of just three hits the Dodgers tallied against Jeff Samardzija.
The Giants got their run in the eighth when Hunter Pence, who singled, advanced two bases on a wild pitch by Ross Stripling. With one out, the Dodgers decided to play the infield back with Buster Posey at the plate, and he obliged the concession with an RBI ground out to tie the score.
“Buster’s up, an elite, elite hitter. When you’re at home to try to play for the tie, to still have an at-bat and try to extend the game, versus playing in, a seeing-eye gets through and then the inning keeps going and you could potentially lose,” manager Dave Roberts said. “I just felt with the batter-pitcher matchup, I’ll take the extended game.”
Puig showed off his arm with an absolute rifle throw in the fifth inning, though Joe Panik still managed to get his hand on second base for a double anyway. What made the play more exciting was that, as Panik’s drive bounced off the wall, just about everyone in Dodger Stadium was getting excited for what was about to happen. Then, when Puig barehanded the carom and fired to second, he managed to even exceed expectations, even though Panik was safe.
Samardzija showed off his old wide receiver skills in the eighth inning, jumping to receive a throw from Brandon Belt on a spectacular all-around play to retire Puig. But mostly, Samardzija was a beast on the mound, striking out 11 in eight innings.
Julio Urias got himself in and out of jams all night, and walked four batters, including Brandon Belt three times. But Urias was living right, inducing a pair of double plays then escaping a bases-loaded situation in the fifth with a fly out by Pence.
Belt walked four times and delivered an RBI single in the 11th. The Giants scored their third run of the inning on a sacrifice fly that would have been a hit if not for a spectacular diving catch by Andrew Toles.
Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth and struck out every batter he faced, giving him eight strikeouts in a row dating back to last Thursday.
Josh Fields followed in the 10th inning and loaded the bases with one out, but struck out Christian Arroyo and got Eduardo Nunez to fly out to end the threat.
Justin Turner was hit in the left calf by a pitch from Steven Okert in the 10th inning, the seventh HBP of the season for Turner to tie for the major league lead.
The Dodgers tallied a pair of hits against closer Mark Melancon in the 11th, bringing the tying run to the plate, but Corey Seager grounded out to end it.
The Dodgers are off on Thursday, then head to San Diego for a three-game weekend series at Petco Park. Kenta Maeda starts the series opener on Friday night, likely against Jhoulys Chacin for the Padres.
Home runs: none
WP - Steven Okert (1-0): 1⅔ IP, 1 HBP
LP - Grant Dayton (1-1): 1 IP, 3 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks
Sv - Mark Melancon (6): 1 IP, 2 hits