Dodgers lose to Giants 2-1, fall out of 1st place
LOS ANGELES (AP) — On most nights, 10 strikeouts and no walks by Clayton Kershaw would be enough to ensure the Los Angeles Dodgers a victory.
Not with Madison Bumgarner on the mound for the San Francisco Giants.
The Dodgers lost 2-1 on Monday night to drop out of the NL West lead and spoiled a solid outing by the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner.
Kershaw (11-7) gave up two runs and six hits in eight innings as his four-game winning streak ended. He even tried to help himself with two singles and a backhanded diving catch of Gregor Blanco's pop-up bunt in foul territory near the first base line in the third.
It wasn't enough since the Dodgers couldn't muster decent run support for their ace.
"When he pitches like that, you've got to win those games," catcher A.J. Ellis said. "He was outstanding once again, and he's getting stronger as the year goes on. We feel like every time he goes to the mound, it's a great chance to win. He's one of the top pitchers in all of baseball for a reason, and he showed it again."
The Dodgers' two-game winning streak ended with Matt Kemp hitless in four at-bats with a strikeout, and Andre Ethier going 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. He reached on a fielding error by Pablo Sandoval in the seventh.
"Anytime you play the Giants, obviously it's a big game, especially right now when we're right in the middle of a pennant race," Kershaw said. "But losing (stinks) no matter what. And tonight didn't feel any better, that's for sure."
Bumgarner scattered four hits over eight scoreless innings and Sandoval drove in both runs for the Giants, who overtook the second-place Dodgers by a half-game in the division.
"Those were a couple of pretty good lefties out there," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "It's frustrating for all of us. When you get an outing like that, you want to get a win. Kershaw made pitches all night and threw the ball really well, but we just didn't give him any runs."