A stellar outing from Yu Darvish and slugging from Cody Bellinger lifted the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 4-1 win over the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers’ victory amounted to their first series win since taking two of three from the Detroit Tigers from Aug. 18-20.
The confidence Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has voiced in support of Darvish over his last few outings was validated Wednesday night at AT&T Park. Darvish fell behind hitters early, yet still managed to pitch seven efficient innings.
Darvish allowed just three hits, faced one over the minimum and retired 13 in a row before a leadoff single in the seventh. The outing was easily his best since completing seven shutout innings in a Dodgers debut.
Bellinger began the scoring for the Dodgers with a line drive that carried over Hunter Pence’s head for an RBI triple. Logan Forsythe’s RBI double gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead before Matt Moore could get through the first inning. Forsythe entered the night batting .299/.437/.439 against left-handed pitching this season.
Miscommunication between Pence and Kelby Tomlinson for a second time in as many nights again resulted in a Yasiel Puig pop-up dropping between them. Pablo Sandoval’s throwing error on a routine grounder put two runners on with one out.
Matters got worse for the Giants, as the Dodgers pulled off a double steal thanks in part to Sandoval failing to handle the throw to third base. To Moore’s credit, he struck out Bellinger looking to leave the bases loaded and get through the second inning without allowing a run.
After Justin Turner led off the fifth with a double, Bellinger exacted some revenge by turning on a fastball for a two-run homer hit into McCovey Cove. The home run was Bellinger’s first at AT&T Park, giving him at least one in each stadium he’s played a three-game series in.
It was his 12th home run off a southpaw, most among left-handed batters this season, and Bellinger’s 37th long ball tied him with Albert Pujols for second all-time among National League rookies.
Moore was chased with one out in the fifth, and he wound up the only Giants pitcher to have a run on his ledger. Each of the Dodgers’ six hits — five off Moore and one against Hunter Strickland — went for extra bases.
Bellinger finished the night with a game-high three RBI, and a single and double shy of hitting for the cycle a second time this season. Pence’s infield single off Walker Buehler with two outs in the ninth led to the Giants’ lone run.
Jarrett Parker’s softly-hit chopper carried up the third-base line for an RBI double, and though Kenley Jansen began to warm up, he was not called on. Buehler struck out Denard Span to seal the win.
Not for nothing, the Dodgers extended their lead over the Washington Nationals to 5.5 games, and take a modest two-game winning streak into this weekend’s series. Los Angeles also kept pace with the Arizona Diamondbacks to maintain a 10-game lead in the NL West standings.
The Dodgers’ magic number to clinch the division was trimmed to seven.