LOS ANGELES -- The reeling San Francisco Giants got what they needed Monday night to regain their equilibrium: a balanced effort featuring power as well as pitching that generated a 4-3 triumph over the archrival Los Angeles Dodgers.The Giants, who still own a National League-worst 10-17 record, ambushed Dodgers ace
LOS ANGELES -- The reeling San Francisco Giants got what they needed Monday night to regain their equilibrium: a balanced effort featuring power as well as pitching that generated a 4-3 triumph over the archrival Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Giants, who still own a National League-worst 10-17 record, ambushed Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw with homers from Hunter Pence, a two-run clout in the first inning, and Buster Posey, who connected with two outs in the third. Rookie Christian Arroyo singled home Gorkys Hernandez in the fifth, which proved vital when the Dodgers rallied for a run in the seventh.
The beneficiary of this support was Giants starter Johnny Cueto, who allowed three runs and six hits in seven innings. Rookie left-hander Steven Okert, installed to face tough left-handed hitters Corey Seager in the eighth inning and Adrian Gonzalez and Cody Bellinger in the ninth, worked 1 2/3 innings of relief.
"All around, it was a nice win, especially after the way the one ended yesterday," Posey said, referring to Sunday's come-from-ahead, 5-2 loss to San Diego in 12 innings.
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It was a rare off night at Dodger Stadium for Kershaw, who came into the game 10-0 with a 0.65 ERA in his last 11 home starts. The Dodgers' ace was charged with four runs (three earned) on eight hits in six innings, and the Giants worked him for a season-high 104 pitches.
"I wasn't great but they definitely had something to do with it as well," said Kershaw, who struggled with his slider all night and left one up in the strike zone that Posey took deep to left field.
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The Dodgers had their season-high four-game win streak snapped as they fell to 2-6 in their last eight games against the Giants and 2-6 in one-run games this season.
"They had a good game plan combined with Clayton's slider not as sharp," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "I think that's just the story of the game."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Sticking with Cueto: Giants manager Bruce Bochy stayed with Cueto following a mound visit with the go-ahead run in scoring position and two out in the bottom of the seventh, and the decision paid off. Alvin Toles grounded out to Brandon Belt, who had entered the game an inning earlier. The Dodgers had already scored a run in the inning on three singles when Bochy headed to the mound with action in the bullpen and Toles coming to the plate.
Arroyo, again: Once more, the Giants' rookie infielder found a way to contribute. Arroyo, who collected his first Major League hit off Kershaw last Tuesday, stroked his seventh and eighth off the Dodgers' ace. The latter was a fifth-inning RBI single that drove in the eventual stand-up run after Hernandez beat out a bunt single and advanced to second on Kershaw's throwing error. Arroyo, who has recorded both of his multiple-hit games against Los Angeles, worked Kershaw to a 2-2 count before delivering his run-scoring hit.
"I feel like we had a lot of those at-bats tonight, where we took some good, aggressive swings and were able to work some counts," Posey said.
"I think that obviously we expect perfection out of Clayton every time he takes the mound." -- Roberts
BELLINGER'S BIG NIGHT
Bellinger, the Dodgers' top prospect, had another strong performance in what is likely to be his final week in the Majors for the short term. Bellinger bounced a double into the right-field seats in the second, later scoring on Kershaw's single with a nifty slide to avoid Posey's tag. The rookie also bunted on his own to beat the shift in the seventh and scored from second on Chris Taylor's pinch-hit single to move the Dodgers within one run.
"Just the instincts are off the charts and looking at him, his first series in San Francisco versus now, it's just the game is slowing down," Roberts said. "It's fun to watch."
Giants: Though San Francisco is facing its third of four left-handed starters in a row, left-handed-batting Belt likely will return to the lineup for Tuesday's 7:10 p.m. PT matchup against Alex Wood. Bochy wants to avoid too much inactivity for Belt, who rested Monday against Kershaw. Belt started against Wood on Wednesday.
Dodgers: In his last start, Wood held the Giants to one hit over six scoreless innings in a no-decision Wednesday in San Francisco. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. PT.
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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.
**Austin Laymance** is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.