What we learned in Giants' statement win vs. Dodgers, Kershaw

Kevin Gausman

That's how you make a statement ... with a sprinkle of torture.

Behind a dominant outing from Kevin Gausman and a terrifying final two innings from Zack Littell and Jake McGee, the Giants took down Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-4 on Sunday, as San Francisco leaves Chavez Ravine with a huge four-game series win over its rivals.

Gausman allowed two hits over six scoreless innings and struck out seven, improving to 6-0 on the season with 1.40 ERA. He even helped himself out at the plate, going 1-for-3 against Kershaw with his first RBI of the season. In outperforming Kershaw, Gausman continued to look like not only the Giants' ace, but one of the best in all of baseball. 

The Giants' bats struck early, scoring three runs off Kershaw in the first inning, which was the first time they have done so off their longtime nemesis. They now are 33-20 on the season, which places them a half-game behind the first-place San Diego Padres in the NL West and two better than the Dodgers.

Here are three more things to know from an impressive Sunday in Southern California. 

Gausman is Ace of the Day 

The Giants' right-hander wasn't supposed to be the clear ace in a contest with Kershaw as his opposition. He was far and away the better pitcher at Dodger Stadium, just as he has been all season long. 

This was Gausman's first start against the Dodgers this season, and he sure didn't disappoint. Among qualified leaders, Gausman now has the fourth-best ERA in the majors and third in the NL behind Jacob de Grom and Brandon Woodruff. 


Gausman silenced the bats of the reigning champs with both his fastball and near-unhittable split finger, inducing 16 swing-and-misses on the day. He threw 62 strikes and 10 balls. The only negative was Gausman exited after six innings as a precaution with left hip tightness. 

On the other side, Kershaw's first start against the Giants this season sure didn't go as planned. The first two batters of the game singled off Kershaw and the Giants continued to attack him the rest of the way.

Kershaw came into the day with 24 career wins against the Giants, tied for his most against any team. He'll have to wait for No. 25.

Mauricio Dubon Does Trevor Bauer's Sword

Dubon didn't just give the Giants a 3-0 lead in the first inning with his two-run homer off the left field foul pole; he also added a little heat to the rivalry. 

As Dubon crossed home plate, he did Bauer's signature sword celebration that the 2020 NL CY Young winner did against the Giants earlier this season.

Filling in for Brandon Crawford at shortstop, Dubon finished the day 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBI. He now has 11 career home runs, and two have come off Kershaw. 

The Platoon Saloon Works Again

On Saturday, Wilmer Flores went 3-for-3 before LaMonte Wade Jr. replaced him at first base in the top of the seventh inning. Wade singled, stole second base and eventually scored later in the inning. On Sunday, Gabe Kapler's platoon worked wonders again. 

Austin Slater was 2-for-3 with a home run before Mike Yastrzemski replaced him in the top of the seventh. He walked and wound up stranded at third base. But Wade came through once again as a pinch-hitter. 

Wade again replaced Flores, who was 0-for-3 this time, and Wade again singled to right field. 

For all the questions he receives from the outside, Kapler continues to press plenty of the right buttons and has this Giants team on the heels of the Padres in a neck-and-neck NL West race. 

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