It was a pitcher’s duel from the very first pitch, but the Los Angeles Dodgers were able to power past the Giants 2-1.
L.A. got on the board first when Yasiel Puig, who was hit by a pitch in his previous at-bat, crushed a solo home run to centerfield in the fifth. Matt Cain also allowed a solo shot to Matt Kemp to lead off the sixth, which proved to be the winning run.
Cain was shaky a few times throughout the night. With the game still scoreless, he walked the bases loaded in the fourth, only to get out of it by striking out Mark Ellis. The 23 home runs he’s given up this season is a career-high. But he settled in, eventually throwing 100 pitches – 61 of which were strikes – in seven innings, allowing seven hits, walking three, and striking out four. Since the All-Star break, Cain has a 2.36 ERA and has given up three runs or fewer in his last 12 starts, but the Giants have now lost seven of the last eight of those games.
The lone Giants run came off the bat of Tony Abreu, who crushed his second home run of the year into the bleachers in the fifth. Other than that, L.A. starter Hyun-Jin Ryu was brilliant in containing the Giants. He threw 104 pitches, 73 strikes, in his seven innings of work. Ryu allowed just four hits, one walk, and struck out six on his way to his 14th win of the season, tying him with Kazuhisa Ishii (in 2002) for most wins by Dodger rookie.
Brian Wilson pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning for L.A. It’s the first time he’s appeared in a game at AT&T Park wearing Dodger blue, and he says that he understands the boos that he received from fans.
“It’s not the first time I’ve been booed with the Dodgers in town, I’m just now playing for them. Due diligence, that’s what fans do. That’s their right. I love it.”
San Francisco has now scored just four runs in their last four games. Manager Bruce Bochy says that his team has been offensively flat for awhile now.
“We just couldn’t get much going offensively…couldn’t get guys on base. We logged a few strikeouts. We played well, just couldn’t get the bats going. We’re cold right now. That series in New York – we didn’t swing it very well there either. The pitching was there, we just couldn’t get any runs on the board.”
Cain, who’s used to a lack of run support, was quick to credit Ryu and didn’t blame his teammates for the stagnant offense.
“I made two big mistakes, and that cost us. Ryu did a good job of mixing the ball up well, so you gotta give credit to him, too. He did a good job, and their bullpen did a good job of shutting it down, too. It’s not easy to go ahead and score runs against those guys. I kinda just wish I didn’t make two bad pitches, and it would’ve been different.”
The bright spot for the Giants was that, once again, their pitching was solid. Heath Hembree pitched a scoreless eighth, striking out two. Since being brought up from Triple-A this month, Hembree’s now made six appearances and allowed two hits in six scoreless innings. Jean Machi pitched a perfect 1-2-3 ninth.