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Rich Hill continues Dodgers scoreless streak to beat Giants

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES — Rich Hill continued the Dodgers’ strong pitching start to the season, wiggling his way out of jams en route to six scoreless innings in a 9-0 romp over the Giants on Sunday night at Dodger Stadium, salvaging a four-game series split.

Hill stranded the bases loaded in both the third and fourth innings, including escaping the third frame with a runner on third base and nobody out. Buster Posey doubled to lead off the sixth inning and even stole third base with two outs, but he was stranded by Hill as well.

“I thought he was in great control of his emotions tonight,” manager Dave Roberts said. “He and [Yasmani Grandal] had great tempo and rhythm out there.”

Five strikeouts for Hill gave Dodgers starting pitchers 27 strikeouts against only six walks in 25 innings and a remarkable 0.36 ERA through four games. As a team the Dodgers allowed two runs in four games to San Francisco.

Dodgers starters have not allowed a run in their last 20 innings pitched.

The Puig experience

With two singles to open the fourth inning, Corey Seager was on second and Yasiel Puig on first, and what followed was some run-scoring chicanery. One out later Cody Bellinger flew out to left field for what looked like a relatively harmless second out, but as Seager tagged and advanced to third on the play Puig tried to advance to second, only to abort his attempt as the throw was cutoff.

Puig was caught in a rundown for what would have been the final out of the frame but somehow beat the throw back to first base, allowing enough time for Seager to run home, which he did with ease for a 1-0 lead.

“Corey did a great job as far as the timing and the break to home plate,” Roberts said. “I lot of that was driven by Corey’s astuteness on the bases.”

No sacrifice fly, no RBI, but just a run for the Dodgers in one of the oddest ways possible.

“I said [to Puig] thanks for being an idiot,” Bellinger joked. “That was a great time to be an idiot.”

Four pitches later Puig was picked off and caught stealing by pitcher Chris Stratton to end the inning, giving us the gamut of outcomes for Puig’s wild ride between first and second base.

Puig on the night was 3-for-4, including an RBI double in a four-run sixth inning that put the game away. All three of his hits were scorched.

“There’s a lot of unpredictability with him, there’s a lot of energy. Certainly the fans feed off of it,” Roberts said. “But when he’s into it, when he’s focused and plays with that fire and energy, we feed off of it.”

First things first

Bellinger punctuated that four-run sixth with a two run shot off the top of the wall in left field, snapping his 0-for-11 skid to open the season. It was also the Dodgers’ first home run of the year, in their 117th plate appearance of the season.

His blast came against left-hander Josh Osich. Bellinger hit .271/.335/.568 with 12 home runs against southpaws in 2017, the most home runs by any left-handed hitter against lefties in baseball.

Sunday particulars

Home run: Cody Bellinger (1)

WP - Rich Hill (1-0): 6 IP, 5 hits, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts

LP - Chris Stratton (0-1): 5⅓ IP, 5 hits, 3 runs, 4 strikeouts