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Dodgers cut magic number to 7 with walk-off win

MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- The scene changed but the result remained the same for the San Francisco Giants, who squandered another ninth-inning lead as the Los Angeles Dodgers prevailed Monday night, 2-1, on Adrian Gonzalez's walk-off double.

The outcome lengthened the Dodgers' National League West lead over the second-place Giants to six games. San Francisco remained a game behind the Mets and fell into a tie with St. Louis for second place in the Wild Card standings.

Full Game Coverage

LOS ANGELES -- The scene changed but the result remained the same for the San Francisco Giants, who squandered another ninth-inning lead as the Los Angeles Dodgers prevailed Monday night, 2-1, on Adrian Gonzalez's walk-off double.

The outcome lengthened the Dodgers' National League West lead over the second-place Giants to six games. San Francisco remained a game behind the Mets and fell into a tie with St. Louis for second place in the Wild Card standings.

Full Game Coverage

"Baseball's one of those things where bonds are forged through adversity," Giants right fielder Hunter Pence said after San Francisco endured its ninth loss of the season when leading after eight innings, "and we've been through quite a bit of it this season."

Video: SF@LAD: Gonzalez rips walk-off double to right

The Giants held a 1-0 edge entering the ninth, which Andrew Toles christened for Los Angeles with a pinch-hit single off Derek Law. Facing Javier Lopez, Corey Seager singled Toles to third on a ball that diving second baseman Joe Panik nearly corralled. Asked if he initially thought that Seager's hit was a double-play grounder, Lopez replied, "No doubt. It seems like it's a matter of inches as of late."

In came Hunter Strickland, who yielded Justin Turner's RBI single. Gonzalez then decided matters with a drive to deep right that Pence couldn't quite grab.

"I thought I had it. That's why I was a little discombobulated," Pence said. "I had to go back to see how I missed it. I thought it was in my glove. It's definitely a play I could have made, should have made."

The ball had an exit velocity of 95.2 mph and a launch angle of 28 degrees according to Statcast™, and that combination of traits leads to an out more than 73 percent of the time.

Video: SF@LAD: Turner slashes RBI single to tie game in 9th

Before all the drama came more drama, as Yasiel Puig and Madison Bumgarner got into it again as they argued and shoved at the end of the seventh inning. And before that drama came what many fans had likely bought tickets and tuned in for: Clayton Kershaw facing Bumgarner in another battle of NL West aces.

Despite the Puig confrontation, Bumgarner came away with the better night, striking out 10 in seven scoreless innings and allowing just one hit. Kershaw, making his third start since returning from a herniated disk, lasted six innings and surrendered an unearned run while punching out seven.

"To see him and Kersh go pitch to pitch, that was fun," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "Nothing surprises me with these guys. I think resilient is completely an understatement. There's always an expectation for our guys now with the belief to win any game, pass the baton, and when it gets hot and stressful, you keep seeing the at-bats get better and better. It took a collective effort."

• Justice: Scully's humility big part of legacy

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Staring contest escalates: Bumgarner and Puig exchanged words after the former threw the latter out at first to end the seventh inning, and it only escalated from there. Shoving started to break out with Giants first baseman Brandon Belt and Dodgers first-base coach George Lombard separating the two and both dugouts and bullpens emptying. No players were ejected, but that would be the final inning Bumgarner threw as Mac Williamson pinch-hit for him in the eighth inning.

"All I know is Yasiel took a check swing, ran hard down the baseline and didn't say a thing. He heard something from Bumgarner and he responded. I know our guy didn't initiate," Roberts said. More »

Video: Must C Confrontation: Bumgarner, Puig exchange words

Basepath beeline: Giants third baseman Eduardo Nunez employed his electrifying speed to score the game's first run. With two outs in the third inning, he hustled out an infield hit on a comebacker that grazed Kershaw's glove and trickled to second baseman Chase Utley, stole second and went to third on catcher Yasmani Grandal's accompanying throwing error, then scored on a wild pitch.

"We know Kershaw is one of the best pitchers in the game," Nunez said. "I told myself to have a plan to be aggressive off him, to steal bases, to create something." More »

Video: SF@LAD: Nunez singles, steals second and scores

Head over heels: Before Puig and Bumgarner went at it, the Dodgers outfielder provided the team's defensive highlight of the game even though he didn't get the out. Puig closed in on a Pence foul ball destined for the right-field stands in the seventh inning and dove for the ball. He nearly made a full flip as he tumbled over the wall, but came just short of reeling the ball in.

Video: SF@LAD: Puig falls into stands chasing a foul ball

Bumgarner's bounce-back: Success against the Dodgers had eluded Bumgarner, who hasn't defeated them since May 21, 2015. Entering this game, he was 0-4 with a 5.71 ERA in his previous five starts against the Giants' archrivals, including 0-2, 5.63 in three outings this year.

"He threw a beautiful game," Bochy said of Bumgarner, who recorded his sixth double-digit strikeout game of the season. More »

Video: SF@LAD: Bumgarner fans 10 over seven shutout frames

QUOTABLE
"Those two like each other a lot. Probably go out to breakfast every morning they're in town." -- a sarcastic Turner on Puig and Bumgarner's relationship

• Scully called the Bumgarner-Puig dust-up as only he could: perfectly

WHAT'S NEXT
Giants: Right-hander Johnny Cueto, scheduled to start Tuesday's 7:10 p.m. PT rematch against the Dodgers, established a personal single-season best with his fifth complete game in his previous outing against St. Louis. His 2016 total is nearly half of his season-opening career total of 12.

Dodgers: Rich Hill will make his fifth start for the Dodgers and his second against the Giants this season Tuesday. He threw six scoreless innings against the Giants on Aug. 24 in his team debut, getting the 1-0 win against Cueto.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

 

Madison Bumgarner, Adrian Gonzalez, Clayton Kershaw, Eduardo Nunez