San Francisco Giants drop finale to L.A. as Kershaw shines


Clayton Kershaw pitched eight innings of one-run ball Wednesday night in Los Angeles and drove in the first run for the Dodgers with a triple, as L.A. went on to defeat the San Francisco Giants 9-1, taking the series two games to one and clinching the National League West.

The game was a close affair through five innings, with the score deadlocked at one. The Giants scored first in the third by combining three hits and a balk, and eventually scoring on a fielder’s choice. The Dodgers responded in the fifth when Kershaw tripled home Carl Crawford.

Tim Hudson, making his scheduled start despite struggling during his last several outings, pitched better than he has recently, but still ended up surrendering three runs on five hits, with a walk and four strikeouts. He pitched into the sixth, but ran into trouble quickly.

Yasiel Puig led off with a home run and Adrian Gonzalez hit a hard line drive out to Hunter Pence, followed by a double by Matt Kemp and that was it for Hudson.

Javier Lopez came in to relieve Hudson, walked Hanley Ramirez intentionally, and then gave up a booming double to Carl Crawford. Bruce Bochy brought in Jean Machi, and he got out of the inning after giving up a run-scoring single to Juan Uribe, by inducing a double play ball from A.J. Ellis, the play going 1-6-3.

Jeremy Affeldt pitched the seventh and Eric Cordier came on to pitch the eighth, loading the bases on a walk, an error and a hit batsman, before Juan Uribe singled home two more runs. Juan Gutierrez relieved Cordier and after A.J. Ellis grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring the eighth run, Puig walked with the bases loaded to cap the scoring at nine. Cordier was charged with four earned runs on one hit. Chris Heston finally got the final out of the inning for the Giants.

Kershaw gave up one run on eight hits, while walking none and striking out nine. The Giants had golden opportunities in the third and the sixth to do some serious damage, but could not come up with the big hit. In all honesty, with the Giants featuring a lineup of three rookies, two backups and three regulars, they did pretty well to stay in the game until the sixth. Brian Wilson closed out the ninth for the Dodgers.

The Giants missed the opportunity to pull even with Pittsburgh in the wild card race after the Pirates lost 6-2 to the Atlanta Braves. San Francisco remains a game behind the Pirates in the hunt for home field advantage for the one-game showdown.

With four games remaining against the Padres at AT&T Park, San Francisco can still try to garner that home field advantage and maybe some momentum along the way. Against the Pirates they are going to need every bit of help they can get.