Losers of four straight games and eight of their last 10, the Los Angeles Dodgers nonetheless took the field Tuesday night at AT&T Park just one win away from clinching a third consecutive National League West division title.
In a lineup heavy on right-handed batters, Kiké Hernandez hit a leadoff single against San Francisco Madison Bumgarner in the first inning. The Dodgers then caught a break as Kelby Tomlinson bobbled a Howie Kendrick grounder and his error allowed Hernandez to advance to third base.
Bumgarner walked Adrian Gonzalez to load the bases with no outs, but limited the damage. Justin Turner’s sacrifice fly to right field scored Hernandez and left runners on the corners with one out. Corey Seager struck out swinging and Justin Ruggiano grounded out to end the inning.
Clayton Kershaw’s first inning of work was much easier than Bumgarner’s as he struck out two of three batters faced. Bumgarner settled in by the second inning, bookending it with strikeouts of A.J. Ellis and Kershaw as he set the Dodgers down in order.
After Kershaw retired the side in the bottom of the second, Hernandez improved to 4-for-4 since being reinstated from the 15-day disabled list by clubbing a solo home run to lead off the third inning. Kevin Frandsen hit a one-out single in the bottom of the third and advanced to second base with two outs on a wild pitch.
Kershaw walked Angel Pagan before getting out of the small brush with trouble and keeping the Dodgers’ 2-0 lead intact. Neither offense had success in the fourth as Bumgarner and Kershaw each retired the three batters faced that inning.
CONTINUE READING: Clayton Kershaw Dominates Giants As Dodgers Clinch NL West Title