SAN FRANCISCO — On Sept. 29, 2015, with the Giants threatening to get back into a division race that had seemed lost, Clayton Kershaw took the mound at AT&T Park. He pitched a shutout, struck out 13, and clinched an NL West crown.
The stakes were nowhere near that high Wednesday, but Kershaw once again put his spikes down on the throat of his surging rival. He threw seven shutout innings, allowing just three singles and leading the Dodgers to a 6-1 win that snapped the Giants’ season-long five-game winning streak.
The win was Kershaw’s 20th against the Giants and 12th in 19 career starts at AT&T Park. He has a 1.29 ERA here.
There is no margin for error against Kershaw, and Johnny Cueto couldn’t keep the Dodgers off the board early. With two on and two outs in the first, he threw a good two-strike slider to Yasmani Grandal. Buster Posey spread out in the dirt, preparing to block strike three, but Grandal somehow drilled it off the wall for a 2-0 lead.
Cueto and Grandal chirped at each other in the third and the benches cleared. By that point it was 3-0 thanks to a pair of Giants mistakes. Michael Morse didn’t get back to first fast enough on Chase Utley’s grounder to second, and Joe Panik had no throw. Later in the inning, Utley scored on a wild pitch. The Dodgers tacked on two more in the sixth before Cueto’s day was done.
Starting pitching report: Cueto was charged with five earned runs on eight hits and a walk. He’s been better of late, but still, he’ll take a 4.50 ERA into his next start.
Bullpen report: Bryan Morris continues to show he might be here for good. He pitched a perfect eighth.
At the plate: Eduardo Nuñez took Sergio Romo deep in the ninth.
In the field: Morse played left field for the first time since returning. He got turned around on Cody Bellinger’s fly to the track that went for an RBI double.
Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 41,588 human beings who chose the wrong game to attend this week.
Up next: A day off! The Giants fly to St. Louis on Thursday and start a three-game set there Friday. It’s a HUGE trip.