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Dodgers unravel in opening loss to Giants

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Dodgers squandered a strong performance by Hyun-jin Ryu, and a night filled with nicks, pulls and far too many trainer visits was decided in part thanks to a trip. The Giants rallied for four runs in the seventh inning to capture the series opener 6-4 on Friday at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

The seventh inning began with a two-run Dodgers advantage and on the mound was left-hander Tony Cingrani, who was dominant to start this season with 17 strikeouts in 34 batters faced, and no walks.

A bunt single by Brandon Belt was followed by a one-out walk to Brandon Crawford, putting the tying runs on base. After the walk to Crawford, Cingrani was shaking his left arm and trainer Nate Lucero and manager Dave Roberts came to the mound.

After a brief visit he was allowed to continue.

Gorkys Hernandez singled to drive home one run, then Kelby Tomlinson doubled to tie the game at 4-4, ending Cingrani’s night. We don’t know exactly what went wrong with Cingrani, but here are the numbers on his four-seam fastball this season:

  • Before Friday (110 pitches): 94.3 mph average, per Brooks Baseball
  • First 3 batters Friday (before mound visit, 14 pitches): 92.9 mph, per MLB Gameday
  • Final 2 batters Friday (after mound visit, 5 pitches): 91.1 mph, per Gameday

Pedro Baez entered in a tie game, with the go-ahead runs in scoring position and one out. Already this was a precarious position, but Baez exacerbated it just two pitches in.

Baez fell off the mound during his delivery, drawing a balk call to bring home the go-ahead run. A sacrifice fly to center provided San Francisco some insurance, and the final margin.

It spoiled a fantastic outing by Ryu, who struck out seven and walked none on his night. He has 32 strikeouts and four walks in his last four starts, including seven or more strikeouts in four consecutive starts for the first time in his career.

Ryu did allow a pair of solo home runs in the second inning, with Evan Longoria and Brandon Crawford taking Ryu deep, one more home run that Ryu allowed in his first four starts of the season. But that was it.

The Dodgers grabbed the lead in the fourth inning, though not with home runs. They hit three doubles in the inning, the first by Yasmani Grandal to score Matt Kemp, who left the game afterward after suffering left quad tightness while scoring from first base.

Yasiel Puig doubled home the equalizer then with one out Ryu doubled home two runs of his own to give the Dodgers the lead, his first RBI since 2014.

That proved to be the only scoring inning for the Dodgers despite eight hits and seven walks on the night. They were 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

Ryu pitched 5⅔ innings and allowed just the two runs. He might have lasted even longer, at just 89 pitches, but Ryu took a comebacker off the back of his leg off the bat of Buster Posey, so even Ryu couldn’t escape this night unscathed.

Grandal, whose seventh double and 19th RBI of the season padded his team leads, took a foul ball off his left hand in the seventh and was also looked at by Lucero, but stayed in the game.

It was a rough night all around for the Dodgers.

Up next

The Dodgers and Giants are at it again for two games on Saturday with a split doubleheader. Walker Buehler starts the 1:05 p.m. PT game for the Dodgers, facing Chris Stratton, while Alex Wood and Johnny Cueto face off in the 7:05 p.m. game. SportsNet LA will televise both Saturday games, with KTLA simulcasting the nightcap.

Friday particulars

Home runs: Evan Longoria (5), Brandon Crawford (2)

WP - Sam Dyson (1-0): 1 IP, 1 walk

LP - Tony Cingrani (0-4): ⅓ IP, 3 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk

Sv - Hunter Strickland (6): 1 IP, 2 strikeouts