Greinke wins duel as Dodgers extend lead
LOS ANGELES -- Zack Greinke outdueled fellow Cy Young candidate Madison Bumgarner and slumping Joc Pederson homered as the Dodgers defeated the Giants on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium, 2-1, extending their division lead to 5 1/2 games.
The Dodgers have won seven of their last eight, while the Giants have a four-game losing streak.
"We've had our backs against the wall many times," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, refusing to get too worried.
Greinke is 15-3 this year and 7-0 against the Giants in his career. He was charged with one run on five hits with five strikeouts and one walk. His MLB-leading ERA is 1.59. Bumgarner slipped to 16-7 on the season and 13-6 against Los Angeles in his career. He allowed two runs on eight hits in seven innings with eight strikeouts and one walk.
Greinke retired 13 consecutive batters after a fielding error by rookie second baseman Jose Peraza in the second inning.
Luis Avilan relieved Greinke with two on and one out in the eighth, getting Brandon Belt on a double-play grounder with a glove flip from Peraza to shortstop Jimmy Rollins to start it. Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth inning for his 28th save.
"It was probably the best play of the day, at the most important time of the game," Greinke said of the double play.
The first Dodgers run scored in the third inning on a single by Peraza, a disputed walk to Justin Turner and Adrian Gonzalez's RBI single.
Greinke escaped jams in the second and seventh inning before the Giants finally scored in the eighth.
Giants catcher Buster Posey explained Greinke's effectiveness by citing his ability to repeat his delivery.
"The ball comes out of the same spot," Posey said. "Not to mention that he's got great stuff."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Bobblehead walk: Gonzalez drove in the first run with a single to left field that scored the speedy Peraza from second base, but the pivotal moment was one pitch earlier when Turner (on his bobblehead night) walked on a 3-1 breaking ball from Bumgarner that plate umpire Mike Winters called ball four, putting runners on first and second and drawing a stare from the pitcher.
No score: The seventh inning opened in promising fashion for the Giants when Belt singled and Buster Posey walked. But they were marooned as Marlon Byrd grounded out on a close play, Alejandro De Aza took a called third strike and Kelby Tomlinson flied to right. De Aza was incredulous with the third-strike call, which led to Bochy and right-hander Jake Peavy, who was livid in the dugout, being ejected.
"I made a close pitch to De Aza," Greinke said, pausing with a thin smile spreading across his face. "It was a strike for a long time and it moved a lot at the end. I don't know if it moved enough at the end." More >
Bullpen rebound: With 1 2/3 scoreless innings, the previously besieged Dodgers bullpen has allowed only one earned run in the last 21 relief innings over the last six games.
Hudson's return: Giants right-hander Tim Hudson, reinstated from the disabled list earlier Tuesday, faced two batters in his first appearance since July 26. It also was his second relief outing in 476 Major League games. Hudson yielded an eighth-inning leadoff double to Gonzalez before pinch-hitter Carl Crawford grounded out. That was all for Hudson, though he's believed to be under serious consideration to receive a start soon.
"I just got lost in the moment." -- Pederson, on his home run sprint around the bases.
A key moment occurred in the seventh inning with runners on first and second with nobody out, when Turner fielded Byrd's tricky grounder and threw him out at first base. The Giants requested a review of the extremely close play. Ultimately, it was determined that the call stands.
Giants: Welcome to the Giants-Dodgers rivalry, Mike Leake. No matter how San Francisco's starter fares in Wednesday's 7:10 PT series finale, he's bound to experience an intensity he never encountered while spending six years with the Reds.
Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw is 6-0 with a 0.92 ERA in his last 10 starts and gets the acid test against the Giants in the series finale Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. PT. Kershaw is 14-7 with a 1.63 ERA lifetime against the Giants, losing his last start against them on May 21.
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