The Los Angeles Dodgers prevailed 10-6 over the San Francisco Giants in a game that took several twists and saw plenty of drama. With the win, the Dodgers extended their franchise record to six consecutive seasons with a postseason berth and will at minimum play in the National League Wild Card Game.
While a vintage Clayton Kershaw performance was expected by many, the three-time Cy Young Award winner hardly looked his usual self. Other than a go-ahead two-run single in the fourth inning, Kershaw had an afternoon to forget.
He twice blew multi-run leads and the five runs allowed were the most in any start against the Giants. It was also uncharacteristic for Kershaw to struggle at AT&T Park, where he entered with a lifetime 13-4 record and 1.30 ERA.
Kershaw’s five innings pitched marked his shortest start since June 28 in what was his second outing since coming off the disabled list.
He was immediately provided with a lead as Joc Pederson led the game off with a home run. The leadoff homer was Pederson’s eighth this season, setting a Dodgers franchise record. Yasiel Puig then hit a leadoff home run in the second inning to put the Giants in a 2-0 deficit.
While he wasn’t facing Madison Bumgarner, Kiké Hernandez continued to torment the Giants. His RBI double in the fourth inning tied the game and helped set the table for Kershaw to put the Dodgers ahead, though he ultimately squandered that.
They had an opportunity to break the tie in the seventh but David Freese’s line drive was hit right to Joe Panik, leaving the bases loaded. Mark Melancon nearly stranded a leadoff single in the eighth but left a pitch over the plate that Manny Machado lined off the brick wall in right field for a go-ahead triple.
Chris Taylor’s RBI single and Max Muncy’s two-run double in the ninth inning blew the game open and though it wasn’t a save opportunity, Kenley Jansen had some of his workload reduced as he was used for the final two outs of the game.
The win keeps pressure on the Colorado Rockies, who need a victory themselves Saturday night to avoid falling into a tie with the Dodgers in the NL West standings. Regardless of the outcome, the earliest the division can be decided is on the final day of the regular season.