LOS ANGELES–Watching the Dodger (98-57) clinch the division title yesterday was hard enough and the Giants (61-94) wanted to erase the possibility of them achieving another significant feat before the end of the series. They did exactly that, with a 2-1 victory in Los Angeles Saturday night erased the possibility of the Dodgers wining game No. 100 against them tomorrow.
The game began in nearly the exact same way as the one from the night before. Last night, Gorkys Hernandez hit a leadoff single, was bunted over by Joe Panik and driven in by Buster Posey.
Change Hernandez’s single to a double, add a groundout by Denard Span and keep Posey’s RBI single and that’s exactly how the Giants took the lead.
Fortunately for Bumgarner, who received the loss in his last four starts and improved to 4-9, the rest of the game went in the other direction of the previous game. While maintaining his reputable success rate in Los Angeles, Bumgarner allowed only a home run to Austin Barnes.
“He did look good didn’t he?” Bruce Bochy said. “He looked strong. I know these ballparks can be a little different, as far as the velocity readings, but he did have really good stuff tonight.”
Bumgarner faced the minimum through 2.2 innings and with the help of spectacular plays from Brandon Crawford and Span, struck out five and gave up five hits in 7.2 innings.
“I gave us a chance to win today and I had great defense behind me and offense, two runs, but it was timely hitting,” Bumgarner said. “It was a good win for us.”
Span drove in, what proved to be, the game-winning run in the fifth with an RBI single, just one hit in a strong night at the plate he desperately needed. After arriving to Los Angeles on a 2-20 stretch, he finished the game 3-4 with an RBI.
Even in the third inning when the Dodgers were forced to make an unexpected pitching change, Bumgarner made two runs enough. When a line drive from Panik struck opposing starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu’s left arm, he was taken out of the game after two innings and replaced by Ross Stripling. He suffered a left forearm contusion with x-rays that came back negative.
As a pitcher vying a spot in the Dodgers’ postseason rotation, an injury of any kind overshadows his recent success. Add his loss tonight, Ryu is 3-2 with a 2.68 ERA and 63 strikeouts in his last 13 starts.
Frustrated boos from the stands turned into eager cheers when Sam Dyson ran into trouble in the ninth inning. With one out, Curtis Grandson singled to bring Yasiel Puig, the game-winning run, to the plate. Amidst the nervous tension, Puig grounded into a fielder’s choice and Posey went on throw him out at second to end the game as Dyson earned his 14th save of the season.