The San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers locked horns in yet another thrilling, heated battle, but this time, the Giants fell a bit short.
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Fueled by a botched double-play ball that would have ended the game in the ninth inning, the Dodgers outlasted the Giants 3-2 in 10 innings on Saturday afternoon at AT&T Park.
The Giants scored first in the bottom of the second inning when Madison Bumgarner again took Clayton Kershaw deep for the second time in as many seasons. Bumgarner became just one of 15 players to have at least two career home runs off Kershaw.
Bumgarner came up in the fifth inning, but Kershaw struck him out by throwing all breaking balls. Bumgarner took an inside fastball deep in the second inning.
Another unlikely candidate, the light-hitting Ehire Adrianza, stunned the sold-out crowd by hitting a long fifth-inning home run that stayed just inside the foul pole. That gave the Giants a 2-1 lead.
With the home run, it was only the 16th game where Kershaw has given up at least two home runs in a game.
After the Dodgers tied the game in the ninth, San Francisco had a chance to walk-off in the bottom of the inning. Posey led off with a single, stole second, but Chris Hatcher struck out the side to get out of that mess.
The Giants went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position on Saturday, as Kershaw didn’t give the Giants many chances to get on base. San Francisco mustered just five hits in 10 innings.
One day after signing a five-year contract extension with the Giants, Belt nearly gave the Giants their third run when he hit a long fly ball to right-center field that was caught at the wall.
Kershaw wasn’t at his best, topping out with the fastball at around 91 miles per hour and having a hard time commanding the ball at times, but still held the Giants to four hits and two runs in eight innings, with five strikeouts.
Bumgarner and Kershaw both didn’t have their best stuff, but still managed to pitch good games.
Bumgarner topped out at around 91 miles per hour on Saturday, but still pitched six good innings. He gave up six hits and only one earned run, while amassing eight strikeouts.
A big play came in the top of the third inning with one out and the bases loaded. Bumgarner had Scott Van Slyke at 0-2, but an inside fastball hit Van Slyke on the arm. Van Slyke appeared to lean in and not even try to get out of the way on that one. Bochy tried arguing, but the call stood. The game was tied at 1.
Sergio Romo relieved Bumgarner in the 7th and pitched a 1-2-3 inning.
After a leadoff double from Adrian Gonzalez against Javier Lopez in the 8th inning, Hunter Strickland came in and restored order. He struck out Austin Barnes and Trace Thompson swinging, and got the third out on a Charlie Culberson fly ball to right field.
Casilla got Gonzalez to ground a double-play ball to Kelby Tomlinson, who bobbled it and had to settle for the out at first base. That tied the game at 2.
George Kontos let the Dodgers go ahead in the 10th inning, giving up an RBI-double to former Giant Charlie Culberson.
Defense is what ultimately cost the Giants the game.
The Giants made their first error of 2016 on Saturday, but it was one that wasn’t scored as an error that hurt the Giants.
Kelby Tomlinson, with 1 out and the bases loaded in the ninth inning, had a made-to-order, game-ending double play ball hit right to him off the bat of Gonzalez, but he appeared to rush the play, and the ball kicked off his glove. That allowed Utley to score and tie the game at 2. With Gonzalez not being a fast runner, if the ball was fielded cleanly, that likely would have ended the game with a Giants win.
Matt Duffy made the only Giants’ official error in the first inning on a ground ball that came up on him.
The Giants will try to shake this one off and take the series behind Johnny Cueto, who will make his AT&T Park debut on Sunday. Game time is at 1:05 p.m.
Against the Dodgers, Cueto (1-0) is just 2-5 in his career but has a 2.79 ERA against them.
The Dodgers will counter with Scott Kazmir (1-0).