Instant Replay: Dodgers 4, Giants 0

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Instant Replay: Dodgers 4, Giants 0

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO Clayton Kershaw dealt the Giants their second consecutive shutout loss and dropped them into a tie with the Dodgers for first place in the N.L. West after a three-game sweep at home.Starting pitching report: Ryan Vogelsong was his usual razor-sharp self for three innings, but he needed to be at his best to match Kershaw and he was far from it in the series finale.Coming into Sundays game, Vogelsong boasted the best home ERA in the National League at 1.41. He lowered that mark with a nine-pitch 1-2-3 first inning and worked around a one-out single by Hanley Ramirez in the second with an inning-ending strike em out, throw em out double play. Vogelsong struck out Mark Ellis looking on a close call to end the third frame after issuing a one-out walk to A.J. Ellis.Vogelsong finished the third inning with just 41 pitches thrown on the afternoon, but needed another 37 just to make it through the fourth. After starting off Juan Rivera with three straight balls, Vogelsong eventually had to come in with a 3-1 fastball. Rivera responded with a clean single and Matt Kemp followed with a single of his own. Rivera advanced to third on Andre Ethiers deep fly to center, then scored on Hanley Ramirezs ground ball to third that the Giants almost turned into an inning-ending double play. Instead, Ramirez barely beat Ryan Theriots relay throw to collect his sixth RBI of the series and keep the inning alive. His hustle paid off even more when Marco Scutaros error and Luis Cruzs double led to a second Dodger run.For all the work Vogelsong did in the fourth inning, he enjoyed a much-needed rest in the fifth, as he used just six pitches to set down Ellis, Rivera and Kemp in order.The Dodgers wasted no time getting Vogelsong back in the stretch in the sixth, as Andre Ethier led off the inning with a single and, after Ramirez flew out to center, moved up on James Loneys single. Vogelsong struck out Cruz, then walked Ellis to load the bases for Kershaw. Kershaw didnt go down easy, taking Vogelsongs 101st pitch for a strike and a full count. The lanky lefty then fouled off two tough pitches before he struck out swinging to end the inning.Vogelsong turned in his 19th straight start of six innings or more to start the season, but those innings included six hits, three walks and two runs, one of which was earned. Vogelsong struck out five in the loss, his fifth of the year, and threw 104 pitches, 59 of which were strikes.Bullpen report: Clay Hensley relieved Vogelsong in the seventh inning and didnt last long, giving way to Jeremy Affeldt after sandwiching a fielders choice with two singles.Affeldt inherited Hensleys two baserunners and saved his bullpen-mate by getting Andre Ethier to ground into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.Affeldt came back out for the eighth inning and started off with a strikeout of Ramirez, but gave up a double followed by a wild pitch and a single to let L.A.s lead increase to 3-0. Affeldt then walked Ellis and struck out Kershaw before giving way to George Kontos.Kontos, who put in a rough 1.2 innings of work in Saturdays loss, promptly gave up a single back up the middle to Ellis to put the Giants in a 4-0 hole. He left two runners in scoring position, though, when he induced a foul pop up from Rivera to end the inning.Santiago Casilla started the ninth inning but didnt finish it. The Giants closer got Kemp to ground out before giving up a double to Ethier. Casilla struck out Ramirez looking but Bruce Bochy still decided to turn to his lefty specialist Javier Lopez to face Loney. Lopez did his job, getting Loney to ground out to second and send the game to the bottom of the ninth.At the plate: San Franciscos bats were shut out for nine innings Saturday and didnt look any better in the series finale against Giant-killer Clayton Kershaw.Kershaw worked around an error and two singles in the second inning and was nearly flawless the rest of the way.The Giants came closest to erasing their scoreless streak in the second inning, when Angel Pagan reached on an error with one out. Kershaw picked off Pagan, though, making back-to-back singles from Marco Scutaro and Brandon Belt immediately after go for naught.Kershaw was in cruise control from the third inning on, mixing in his devastating breaking balls with an overpowering fastball to keep the Giants hitters off balance.After the two singles in the second the Giants mustered just two more singles, one from Pagan in the fourth and another from Blanco in the sixth, until the ninth inning.Kershaw entered the ninth inning having thrown just 98 pitches. In the final frame he got Theriot to hit a fly ball to the left-centerfield gap and struck out Cabrera for the third time for two quick outs. Posey kept the game alive with a sharp ground ball off third baseman Hanley Ramirezs glove for the Giants fifth hit, but Pagan grounded out to third to end the game in a sharp three hours and three minutes.The top of the Giants order, Blanco, Theriot, Cabrera and Posey, combined to go 1-for-15 with a walk and five strikeouts against Kershaw.In the field: The newest Giant, Marco Scutaro, made a smart play on Clayton Kershaws bunt in the third inning. With a runner on first, the Dodgers ace popped up his sacrifice bunt attempt in between Buster Posey and Ryan Vogelsong. Nobody could get to the ball on the fly, but Scutaro charged it and threw across his body to second base to get the force out.Scutaro erased the memory of his good defense with a sun-induced dropped pop up in the middle of a fourth-inning rally. The two-out error kept the inning alive for the Dodgers and led to their second run.On the bases: In his first plate appearance of the game, Angel Pagan reached base on an error but wasted the gift by getting picked off. The mistake was made worse when the next two San Francisco batters singled but the Giants were kept off the board.After drawing a walk in the third inning, Gregor Blanco stole his 18th base of the season to take the team lead and continue to add to his career-high total.Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 41,902 for their 135th consecutive sellout.Up next: The Giants will try to regain sole possession of first place in the N.L. West when they host the New York Mets for four games starting Monday. In the series opener, the Mets will send RHP Jeremy Hefner (1-4, 5.40 ERA) to the mound to oppose LHP Madison Bumgarner (11-6, 3.10 ERA).

Regulars in lineup continue to scuffle, Giants end up with series split

Regulars in lineup continue to scuffle, Giants end up with series split

SAN FRANCISCO — The momentum generated by Christian Arroyo and Michael Morse late Wednesday night lasted just a few hours. By the end of this four-game series, the Giants were left with a harsh reality: Even with two injections of new blood, they are not hitting. 

Arroyo drove in another run Thursday, but that was it for a lineup that couldn’t support Matt Moore’s effort. The bullpen, which had kept Bruce Bochy’s guys in close games all series, finally broke in the 10th. The Dodgers walked away with a 5-1 win and a split of a series that was rather uninspiring for both sides. 

After scoring 10 runs on the last road trip, the Giants scored just eight during the four games against the Dodgers. Three of those RBI came from Arroyo, called up Monday. A fourth came from Morse, called up Wednesday.

“We’ve got to get this offense going,” Bochy said. “It’s a better offense than what we’re doing right now. You need to find a way to put a few runs on the board. We had our chances, we just couldn’t find ways to get the big hit.”

With Denard Span out for at least another week, Bochy moved Hunter Pence to the top of the lineup. His temporary No. 3 hitter against lefties, Eduardo Nuñez, has one hit in his last 20 at-bats. Buster Posey, the cleanup hitter, is batting .357, but he has driven in just three runs this month. With two on and one out in the eighth, he bounced into a double play. The production closer to the bottom of the order has been nonexistent, leading to constant shuffling that has moved Nuñez and Belt to left at times. Bochy said the staff will continue to search of a lineup that works. 

“You talk about it and do thing to adjust, and it will get better, but right now we’ve got some guys who aren’t swinging the bat well, to be honest,” he said. “You look at the order and we don’t have a lot of guys swinging well.”

The list does not include Arroyo, the rookie who will eventually have to deal with adjustments from pitchers. It doesn’t appear that’ll be a problem. Arroyo has been making adjustments from at-bat to at-bat. He did so against Sergio Romo for his first career homer and said he learned about the depth of Julio Urias’ curveball during their first two battles Thursday. In the sixth, the 21-year-old Arroyo drove in the game-tying run against the 20-year-old Urias. The lefty had walked Posey to face Arroyo, who singled up the middle. 

“He handles himself so well,” Bochy said. “They walked Buster and he smokes the ball. This kid has shown he’s not in awe. The upper deck, the bright lights, he comes to play.”

Arroyo’s effort briefly backed Moore, who was sharp in seven innings. Moore struck out eight, six of them looking, but he didn’t get much help and the bullpen fell apart in the 10th with a series of walks.

Bochy challenged his starters on Saturday at Coors Field and they responded with a strong series back home. The bullpen was tested during the first week but — Thursday’s result aside — it has settled down. The Giants are not as worried about their pitching as they were as they flew back from Denver. They know, however, that this team is going nowhere if two runs per game continues to be the nightly output. 

“We’ll tweak it again,” Bochy said of his lineup. “We'll see if we can get this thing right.”

Instant Replay: Moore tosses gem, but Giants lose to Dodgers in extras

Instant Replay: Moore tosses gem, but Giants lose to Dodgers in extras

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — Quietly over the past couple of weeks, Bruce Bochy’s bullpen had started to settle. Bochy praised the group before Thursday’s game, noting that roles were being defined by pitchers who entered the series finale with the Dodgers with a 0.94 collective ERA this season. That changed in the 10th inning Thursday.

Three relievers combined to give up four runs on four walks and three singles. The implosion ended with a 5-1 loss to the Dodgers and a split of this four-game series. 

For most of the game, this was a day when youth shined. Corey Seager celebrated his 23rd birthday with a solo homer in the first on a two-strike pitch from Matt Moore that caught the heart of the plate. The Giants will be dealing with Seager for years, and if all goes according to plan, there will be years of Julio Urias vs. Christian Arroyo battles, too. 

The 21-year-old third baseman won the first matchup, lining a single to center. Arroyo flew out in his second at-bat against the 20-year-old Urias, but they faced off a third time in a big spot. Brandon Belt drew a one-out walk in the sixth and went to third when a pickoff throw skipped down the line. After an intentional walk of Buster Posey, Arroyo lined another one back up the middle. Urias stuck his glove up but it ticked off and into center for a game-tying single. 

Arroyo ended the young lefty’s day. Moore was done after seven sparkling innings. He struck out eight, six of them looking. 

The game went to extras, and Cory Gearrin walked pinch-hitter Adrian Gonzalez to lead off the 10th. Chase Utley was called up to bunt but he couldn’t get it down. Instead, he hit an infield single off Steven Okert that stayed true to the third-base line. After a walk of Yasmani Grandal, the third straight pinch-hitter, Andrew Toles lined a single to center to give the Dodgers a lead and the wheels soon came off. 

Utley alertly tagged up and scored on a pop-up to foul territory. Justin Turner’s single extended the lead to three and Hunter Strickland’s four-pitch walk of Chris Taylor pushed another across. 

Starting pitching report: Moore gave up 19 hits and 11 earned runs in his two previous starts, but the Dodgers had just two hits, the Seager homer and a Chris Taylor single. Taylor reached third with one out, but Moore got Scott Van Slyke and Cody Bellinger to go down looking. 

Bullpen report: Mark Melancon came on in a non-save situation for a second straight day and pitched a scoreless ninth. 

At the plate: Buster Posey’s hitting streak ended at 12 games. He twice bounced into double plays.

In the field: Posey chased a high pop-up down the right field line in the fourth, but he was going to come up short. Kelby Tomlinson came out of nowhere with the helping hand, making a running catch near the visiting bullpen. Posey smiled and shook his head as Tomlinson whipped the ball back to the infield. 

Attendance: The Giants said they sold out a 500th consecutive game.

Up next: The Giants have a three-city road trip coming up, so it’s time to take advantage of a weekend at home against the Padres. Jeff Samardzija and Luis Perdomo get the opener.