Bruce Bochy used to run out the "bomb squad" when the Giants faced Clayton Kershaw, throwing random right-handed hitters at the Dodgers' ace in hopes that one would bust through.
Gabe Kapler doesn't need to do the same thing. The Giants already have platoons set for every pitcher, and they have a pretty good thing going with their lineup against lefties. One of the main pieces, Austin Slater, hit two homers off Kershaw on Saturday to give Johnny Cueto some support, and it all added up to a big 5-4 win at Dodger Stadium.
The Giants got a game back after a rough performance Friday.
Here are three things to know from the sixth night of the longest road trip of the year ...
He Deserved Better
Cueto had a no-hitter going through five, but he limped off the field at the end of the fifth with an apparent right leg injury. He came back out for the sixth and gave up his first hit in the most bizarre way imaginable, when Hunter Pence lost a high fly ball in the lights and watched it drop about 50 feet behind his outstretched arms.
Tough way to lose a no-hitter pic.twitter.com/saPkkCoOBD— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) August 9, 2020
Three batters later, Cueto hobbled off the mound as Mookie Betts popped up. He was checked by Kapler and trainer Dave Groeschner but stayed in the game. After walking a second Dodger, Cueto was allowed to face Justin Turner with two on and an injured right leg. He hung a curveball and gave up a three-run homer, ruining his line for the night.
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See You Slater
Slater got an elevated fastball from Kershaw in the third and went dead center for his first homer of the year. Two innings later, he made it his first career multi-homer game by driving a hanging slider to the same spot.
Slater solo shot 💪 pic.twitter.com/kFrnxBP61W— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) August 9, 2020
Slater does it again 🔥 pic.twitter.com/vDNZNhsmb5— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) August 9, 2020
Slater became just the seventh player to hit two homers off Kershaw in a game, joining Adam Dunn, Carlos Gonzalez, Jayson Werth, Jay Bruce, Jose Reyes and Bo Bichette.
Not The Same Guy
Kershaw's velocity was up from where it was last year, but he made plenty of mistakes, and the Giants were happy to bang them. In addition to Slater's two shots, Mike Yastrzemski took Kershaw deep, becoming the second Giants lefty to homer off Kershaw. Joe Panik did it when he won back-to-back games with homers off Kershaw and Kenley Jansen.
*Yaz has joined the chat* pic.twitter.com/gqcNaaATp3— SFGiants (@SFGiants) August 9, 2020
This was the first time the Giants hit three homers in a game off Kershaw, and just the fourth time that they scored at least four earned runs. Kershaw had a rough four-inning start against the Giants last September, too, so they're at least chipping away at his absurd career numbers in the rivalry.
This was Kershaw's 50th career appearance against the Giants. He entered the night with a 1.74 ERA against them.