Giants erupt in ninth, stun Dodgers in series opener

Giants erupt in ninth, stun Dodgers in series opener


LOS ANGELES — There was nothing new about what Clayton Kershaw did Monday night, but there was a twist at Dodger Stadium.

Kershaw dominated through eight innings but the Dodgers could not hand the ball to Kenley Janson, who is on the DL with a heart issue. The Giants took full advantage, scoring four in the top of the ninth for a stunning 5-2 win in the first game of an important series. 

Nick Hundley’s single with two outs and the bases loaded flipped the lead and the Giants kept tacking on, once on a Gorkys Hernandez single, once on a Dodgers error. When they were done, they were back to .500 at 60-60, and just four back of the Dodgers. They are five games behind the Diamondbacks. 

Here’s what you need to know from a wild night at Dodger Stadium … 

--- Kershaw allowed just one run, but Dave Roberts turned to Scott Alexander in the ninth. With one out, the Giants got singles from Chase d'Arnaud and Buster Posey. Two batters later, Austin Slater was drilled, loading the bases. That's when Hundley came through. 

--- Brandon Crawford was removed in the fifth, a few minutes after a nasty collision with Gorkys Hernandez. The two ran into each other while chasing a Kershaw pop-up that went for a double. Crawford hit in the top of the next inning, but didn’t take the field after that. He appeared to hit his head when he ran into Hernandez. 

--- Madison Bumgarner did his part to make this matchup a solid one. In six innings, he allowed two earned on seven hits, repeatedly working out of traffic. Bumgarner struck out four and walked two. One of the runs scored on a bloop with two outs, the other on a Justin Turner homer. 

--- Steven Duggar wasn’t all that impressed with Kershaw, apparently. The rookie had an infield single in his first at-bat and smoked a single to right his second time up, coming around to score two batters later. He struck out the third time up. 

--- Ray Black’s first appearance against the Dodgers was a dominant one. He got Joc Pederson to ground out and then blew Chris Taylor and Yasiel Puig away. 

--- It’s a small thing, but Kershaw runs out grounders harder than half the position players in the National League.

Bruce Bochy reacts to quirk at Oracle Park he had never seen before

Bruce Bochy reacts to quirk at Oracle Park he had never seen before

Bruce Bochy has seen just about everything since he started managing in 1995.

But in the Giants' 5-3 loss to the Brewers on Sunday, Bochy witness something he had never seen before.

"First time I've seen it," Bochy said. "First time."

In the second inning, reigning National League MVP Christian Yelich roped a Jeff Samardzija pitch to right field. The ball skipped to the wall and then it disappeared.

Right fielder Kevin Pillar threw up his arms, the universal signal to the umpires that the ball has gone out of play.

But a ground rule double in right field at Oracle Park? That seems hard considering the height of the wall.

In this case, the ball bounced perfectly between the archway gates and into the standing-room only section under the out-of-town scoreboard where a fan picked up the ball.

First base umpire John Libka ran out to see what happened and once Pillar explained the situation, Yelich was awarded two bases. Ben Gamel, who was on first base, was awarded third base.

"I was a little concerned," Bochy said. "But Kevin, with his experience, he did the right thing instead of trying to dig it out."

Samardzija was able to strike out Ryan Braun to strand Gamel and Yelich.

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Oracle Park is in its 20th year of existence. Bochy is in his 13th and final year as Giants manager. Somehow, after all of Bochy's games in the ballpark on the shores of McCovey Cove, he saw something new.

"I've never seen that," Bochy said. "I didn't know what happened until the replay you could see it, where it went through the cushion."

Giants feeling good about themselves, love how they played on homestand

Giants feeling good about themselves, love how they played on homestand

For the Giants, this season isn't about contending for a playoff spot. It's about doing the small things right and building towards future success.

One thing manager Bruce Bochy wants his team to work on is playing better at Oracle Park.

Prior to the just-completed eight-game homestand, the Giants were 10-18 at home. But against the Dodgers, Padres and Brewers -- three quality clubs -- the Giants took five of the eight games.

"I think you look at it as a pretty good homestand," Bochy told reporters after the game. "We would have loved to have finished it off today ... and we could have, we had our chances. But we took two series against two good teams, so good bounce back off a tough series."

The Giants lost two of three to the Dodgers last weekend, but swept a two-game series with the Padres earlier this week. Then, this weekend, they had a chance to sweep the NL Central-leading Brewers before losing 5-3 on Sunday.

"So, better at home, that's what we've been looking for," Bochy said. "Hopefully when we get back it's the same thing, but now we got to hit the road here against some good teams. I like the way we're pitching, keeping it close and we are creating those chances and that's what you need to do. You do enough of it, as I said, odds are somebody's going to come through for you."

Jeff Samardzija started against Milwaukee Sunday and was tagged with four earned runs in five innings.

Despite taking the loss, Samardzija echoed Bochy's feeling that the team is on the right track.

"We're playing good ball right now," Samardzija told reporters. "I think we even showed it today. There were a couple situations there that definitely on my end, if we get out of there with a zero, it's probably a little bit different of a game and we had our opportunities."

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The Giants head down to LA to begin a four-game series with the rival Dodgers on Monday. After that, they head to Arizona for a three-game series before returning home next week to take on the Rockies.

"I love the way we're playing," Samardzija said. "We'll learn a lot about ourselves here in this next week."