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Dodgers keep pace, beat Giants in opener

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

The ball doesn’t carry well at AT&T Park, especially late in the year at night when the temperature drops into the 50s like it was Friday. Justin Turner got into a ball in the third inning that came down 388 feet away from home plate, nowhere close to leaving the yard in a cavernous center field.

Two innings later, Turner would find a better place for a fly ball. Crushing the first pitch he saw in the at-bat from Madison Bumgarner, Turner hit it over the wall to the left of center, two feet shorter than his previous attempt.

The two-run homer would be the difference as the Dodgers came away with a 3-1 win to keep pace in the NL West. The Rockies beat the Nationals to maintain a one-game lead over the Dodgers.

Bumgarner was not shy about the fact he wanted to keep the Dodgers out of the playoffs by pitching Friday instead of Wednesday as planned. The lefty made it tough but Los Angeles eventually broke through to score some runs.

Leading the charge on offense was Kiké Hernandez who had three hits against the Giants’ ace. Down 1-0 after two innings, Hernandez would come around to score on a Manny Machado single in the third inning to tie it up.

It was Hernandez who was on base after his third hit when Turner left the yard to give the Dodgers a lead. With the three hits, the Dodger super utility man is now a career 19-for-39 (.487) against Bumgarner.

Hyun-jin Ryu was outstanding yet again in keeping the opponent off the board in his final start of the regular season. The lefty wiggled out of a pair of inning when the Giants threatened, allowing just one run — a Nick Hundley solo homer leading off the second — over six innings.

The Giants had runners in scoring position in both the second and fourth inning, including bases loaded with one out in the fourth. Ryu induced a ground ball double play to get himself off the hook on both occasions.

Ryu ends his stellar 2018 regular season with a 1.97 ERA in 15 starts, striking out 89 and walking only 15 in his 82 ⅓ innings.

The big story of the night on defense was the five double plays the Dodgers turned, including the final two outs of the game.

The Dodgers need just one more win to both secure at least a wild card spot and their 90th win for the sixth consecutive season.

Also, this is great:

Up Next

The Dodgers and Giants continue the weekend series with Clayton Kershaw (9-5, 2.53) and Dereck Rodriguez (6-4, 2.50).

Friday Particulars

Home Runs: Turner (14), Hundley (10)

WP: Hyun-jin Ryu (7-3): 6 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts

LP: Madison Bumgarner (6-7): 6 IP, 7 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts

SV: Kenley Jansen (38): 1 IP