With National League West implications on the line, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants opened a three-game series with both clubs trotting out their left-handed ace. The head-to-head matchup between Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner was the third this season.
The Giants managed to make solid contact in the first inning, but it didn’t amount to anything and Kershaw needed just eight pitches to retire the side in order. Bumgarner wasn’t as economical in the bottom of the first, though ended a 1-2-3 inning with strikeouts.
Brandon Crawford attacked the first pitch he saw and slapped a two-out single into left field in the second. But he was stranded as Brandon Belt couldn’t catch up to a 94 mph fastball.
Yasiel Puig delivered the Dodgers’ first hit, lining a two-out double over Gorkys Hernandez’s head in center field. Bumgarner allowed the inning to extend by hitting Yasmani Grandal on his left elbow with two strikes.
Chase Utley worked a full count but Bumgarner got the benefit of the call on a borderline pitch to the outside corner. Eduardo Nunez’s squib single with two outs in the third wound up sparking a rally for the Giants.
Nunez stole second base and advanced to third on Grandal’s throwing error. He soon after scored on a wild pitch, giving the Giants a 1-0 lead. Bumgarner protected that by retiring the Dodgers in order, ending the third by striking out Kiké Hernandez for the second time in as many at-bats.
Kershaw erased a Buster Posey broken-bat, leadoff single in the fourth by inducing Hunter Pence into a double play. But the bigger story was Gorkys Hernandez drawing a walk, which was Kershaw’s 10th of the season.
Crawford couldn’t capitalize on the rare walk issued, striking out to end the inning. While Bumgarner kept the Dodgers’ offense in check, Kershaw collected back-to-back strikeouts to end a 1-2-3 fifth inning.
Bumgarner also struck out a pair in the bottom half of the fifth, benefitting from the called-strike three to Puig appearing to be high and out of the zone. Kershaw added two more strikeouts to his total and was removed after throwing 88 pitches over six innings.
Rob Segedin pinch-hit for Kershaw in the bottom of the sixth and was hit by Bumgarner’s first pitch of the inning. That ended Bumgarner’s streak of 10 straight batters retired, which stretched back to when Grandal was hit by a pitch with two outs in the second.
Bumgarner retired Howie Kendrick prior to striking out Kiké Hernandez for the third time on the night. The left-hander also got Corey Seager swinging, ending the sixth with the Giants’ 1-0 lead intact.
The seventh inning saw Pedro Baez and Grant Dayton combine to retire the side in order. It also included Puig flipping into the stands off the right field line on his attempt to track down a foul ball. Despite the scary spill, Puig popped to his feet and appeared unharmed.
A rather innocent bottom of the seventh ended with some fireworks as Bumgarner and Puig exchanged words, which led to both benches and bullpens clearing onto the field. After fielding a chopper and throwing to first, Bumgarner yelled in Puig’s direction out of excitement over the final out.
The southpaw then told Puig not to look at him, to which Puig responded, “What are you going to do to me?” The skirmish was broken up after a few minutes, and Dayton proceeded to throw a 1-2-3 eighth inning.
Andrew Toles led off the bottom of the ninth with a pinch-hit single, and Seager followed with a single of his own to put runners on the corners with nobody out. Hunter Strickland became the third Giants reliever of the inning, but it didn’t bring them relief.
Justin Turner shot an RBI single into right field to tie the game, and Adrian Gonzalez delivered with a walk-off double that went off Hunter Pence’s glove on his attempt at a leaping catch in front of the wall in right field.