In what’s becoming a reoccurring theme, the Dodgers bullpen blew yet another lead that ultimately cost them the game.
Clayton Kershaw gave us his best performance of the year, but it was all for naught. Scott Alexander entered the ninth with a one-run cushion and left with a three-run deficit.
On national left-handers day, two of the more prolific left-handed pitchers in the game squared off. For Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner, it was the 11th career time they faced each other.
As expected, it was a classic pitchers duel early on. Through the first three-and-a-half innings the score remained at zero.
Things got interesting in the bottom of the fourth, as Austin Barnes singled with two outs. For Barnes, who reached base for the second time of the night, it was the first time since June 28 he reached base multiple times.
Kershaw then stepped up to the plate. On a 2-1 pitch, he blooped an 85-mph pitch into shallow left field. The ball landed in no-mans land, as shortstop Brandon Crawford and left fielder Gorkys Hernandez collided. Crawford’s face collided with Hernandez’s knee.
Barnes would score from first, with Kershaw being thrown out at third, but the Dodgers took a 1-0 lead.
The lead was doubled in the fifth as Justin Turner took Bumgarner deep for his seventh home run of the season.
The Giants tacked on one in the sixth. Steven Duggar and Bumgarner started the inning with back-to-back singles. With runners on the corners, Andrew McCutchen grounded out, cutting LA’s lead to one.
Kershaw responded with back-to-back outs, limiting the damage to one run.
It was a classic vintage night for Kershaw, looking like his former self. In eight innings, Kershaw struck out nine and allowed zero walks. Per Ryan Walton, this was the 31st time in his illustrious career he’s finished a game with at least nine strikeouts and zero walks.
As mentioned earlier, his performance will ultimately go down as a no-decision.
Scott Alexander entered the game in the ninth with a 2-1 lead. He got McCutchen to ground out, but then allowed back-to-back singles. After a force out, the Giants had runners on second and third with two outs.
Austin Slater would be hit by a pitch, and the bases were loaded.
Nick Hundley stepped up to the plate, and singled in two runs, giving the Giants a 3-2 lead. Gorkys Hernandez followed with a single of his own, and Steven Duggar reached first on an error, giving the Giants a 5-2 lead.
Pedro Baez replaced Alexander, striking out Joe Panik on three pitches.
The Dodgers were unable to create a rally in the bottom of the ninth, and dropped their fourth straight game.
With a win, the Dodgers would have moved into a first-place tie with the D-Backs.
The Dodgers will send Alex Wood (7-6, 3.58 ERA) to the mound to battle Andrew Suárez (4-8, 4.64 ERA). First-pitch is at 7:10 PT on SportsNet LA.
Home Runs: Justin Turner (7)
WP: Ray Black (2-1) (1 IP, 2 SO)
LP: Scott Alexander (2-1) (0.2 IP, 4 R)
SV: Will Smith (9)