LOS ANGELES -- A master of positive spin, James Dozier was not looking to end the Dodgers' five-game losing streak on Wednesday night. He was trying to start the next winning streak.Dozier's fly ball to left-center field in the 12th inning scored Yasmani Grandal and gave the Dodgers a 4-3
LOS ANGELES -- A master of positive spin, James Dozier was not looking to end the Dodgers' five-game losing streak on Wednesday night. He was trying to start the next winning streak.
Dozier's fly ball to left-center field in the 12th inning scored Yasmani Grandal and gave the Dodgers a 4-3 victory over the Giants at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles is tied for second in the National League West with the Rockies, 1 1/2 games behind the first-place D-backs.
When a three-game series starts Friday at Seattle against the Mariners, the Dodgers will try to reacquaint themselves with positive momentum.
"Last I checked, the majority of winning streaks always come after a loss, right?" Dozier said. "That's the thing with baseball, it flips just like that. Hopefully we can reel off a few in a row."
The added benefit to Dozier's game-winning RBI is that it rescued a struggling bullpen that had again blown a lead. The Dodgers looked to be in control with a 3-0 lead in the eighth, before Andrew McCutchen hit a game-tying three-run home run off rookie Caleb Ferguson.
Instead of letting one swing do them in, Dodgers relievers Erik Goeddel, Scott Alexander and Pedro Baez (4-3) held the Giants scoreless over the final 4 1/3 innings. Baez retired all six batters he faced in extras.
"[Ferguson] has been really good for us, and he left a pitch up to McCutchen," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "But just the resiliency of our guys says a lot about that room."
The Dodgers appeared to be reeling, especially in the bullpen. All five losses in the team's losing streak featured blown leads, with the opponent scoring the go-ahead run in the seventh once and the ninth four times.
JT Chargois, who gave up a walk-off home run at Colorado on Saturday, also had a scoreless inning.
"For them to come out and throw up zeros and give us a chance to win is huge," third baseman Justin Turner said. "Hopefully they feel good about themselves. You pat [Ferguson] on the butt. He made some good pitches and McCutchen just took a good swing off him. He's been great ever since we put him that role, and he will continue to pitch big innings for us."
McCutchen's home run to center field was his 14th of the season. Before then, the Dodgers were in great shape.
After nearly 3 1/2 months in recovery mode from a left groin strain, Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu looked as sharp as he was before he was injured, if not better, delivering six scoreless innings. The left-hander gave up three hits, and two of those came in the fifth. Ryu struck out six and let only two baserunners reach second base. None made it to third.
"It was huge," Roberts said. "I've said it before, that you win with starting pitching. Our starters have been lights out, they really have. And to get [Ryu] back, the way he's throwing the baseball, that's a huge boost for our club."
In his first five starts of the season, Ryu gave up two or fewer runs in four of them, including a pair of scoreless outings. He has faced the Giants twice this year, giving up two runs over 11 2/3 innings. Ryu hasn't allowed a run in 19 innings at Dodger Stadium this season over three starts.
The Dodgers' offense broke through in the sixth, as Yasiel Puig scored on a sacrifice fly from Joc Pederson. Puig, who was involved in a scuffle with Giants catcher Nick Hundley on Tuesday, raised his arms in the air as he crossed the plate.
Los Angeles shortstop Manny Machado went 3-for-3 with a double and had an RBI for the second consecutive game after not having one in his previous 13.
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Kemp breaks through:Matt Kemp's RBI single in the seventh looked to give the Dodgers a little breathing room, but it ended up being much more. It was just Kemp's third RBI in August, and it prevented McCutchen's three-run home run a half-inning later from giving the Giants the lead.
Kemp was in an 0-for-12 slump before collecting two hits. It was his 27th multi-hit game of the season, but his first since July 23.
"You see the last few nights, the last 7-10 at-bats that Matt has taken, really good swings," Roberts said. "That's turning."
Dozier's walk-off RBI was his first in the National League and the seventh of his seven-year career. It was the second time he ended a game with his bat this season -- he hit a walk-off grand slam in the 10th inning against the Rays while playing for the Twins on July 15.
HE SAID IT
"We win as a team, we lose as a team. There are some days we don't pitch good and we hit good, and vice versa. We just all have to get on the same page and play good baseball like we know how and keep this thing going," -- Kemp, on whether the bullpen or a sluggish offense had been the Dodgers' biggest concern
When the Dodgers open a three-game series at Seattle on Friday at 7:10 p.m. PT, right-hander Walker Buehler (5-4, 3.32 ERA) will try to build off the seven scoreless innings he threw Saturday at Colorado. Buehler has a 1.40 ERA over his last three starts. The Mariners will send lefty Wade LeBlanc (7-2, 3.80) to the mound.
Doug Padilla is a contributor to MLB.com based in Los Angeles.