LOS ANGELES (AP) – Coming off an extra-inning loss at home, the San Francisco Giants had to travel to Los Angeles and then face three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw on Monday night.
They certainly rose to the challenge.
Johnny Cueto outpitched Kershaw, and the Giants jumped out to a couple of early leads before hanging on for a 4-3 victory that snapped the Dodgers’ four-game winning streak.
“It’s disheartening to lose one like we did (Sunday) and then you come down here and face Kershaw, you have your hands full,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “But they found a way to put some runs on the board.”
An unexpected way, actually.
San Francisco entered with a National League-low 16 home runs but hit two against Kershaw – a two-run shot by Hunter Pence in the first inning and a solo drive by Buster Posey in the third.
Pence began the night batting .100 in his career against Kershaw without a home run. But that first-inning jolt set the tone for the Giants.
“That’s a huge shot in the arm,” Bochy said.
Cueto (4-1) held the Dodgers to three runs and six hits in seven innings. He walked one and struck out three as the Giants generated just enough offense to win.
Derek Law fanned Yasiel Puig for the final out to earn his first save.
The Dodgers scored on Yasmani Grandal’s RBI groundout in the first and tied it 2-all on Kershaw’s two-out single in the second. After that, Cueto retired 13 consecutive batters.
“After Kershaw’s hit, I was giving myself a pep talk,” Cueto said.
Kershaw (4-2) never appeared particularly sharp. He went six innings, allowing four runs – three earned – and eight hits. He struck out five and did not walk a batter.
“It just wasn’t a great night,” Kershaw said.
Posey’s second home run of the season came in the third and gave San Francisco the lead for good.
The Giants scored their fourth run in the fifth after Kershaw threw away Gorkys Hernandez’s bunt for an error that allowed Hernandez to reach second. He scored on Christian Arroyo’s single.
“Tonight I wasn’t great, but they had something to do with it as well,” Kershaw said.
The Dodgers pulled within one on pinch-hitter Chris Taylor’s RBI single in the seventh, but never threatened again.
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner went 0 for 4, ending the longest hitting streak in the majors at 16 games. He lined out twice.
Giants: SS Brandon Crawford, on the disabled list since last Wednesday with a right groin strain, is expected back in the lineup Saturday.
Dodgers: OF Franklin Gutierrez, on the DL with a left hamstring strain, is scheduled to be activated Tuesday. … OF Joc Pederson (right groin strain) began a rehab assignment with Class A Rancho Cucamonga. The Dodgers expect him to rejoin the team Friday in San Diego.
When the Dodgers scored in the seventh on Taylor’s single, Bochy went to the mound to talk to Cueto. “I have to talk to Johnny there. He’d worked hard,” Bochy said. “The inning was getting some length to it. I just want to see where he was at. He was adamant he was good.”
Giants: LHP Mike Moore (1-3) makes his second consecutive start against the Dodgers on Tuesday night. He allowed one run in seven innings last Thursday at San Francisco during the Dodgers’ 5-1 victory.
Dodgers: LHP Alex Wood (1-0) is scheduled to make his fourth start. He took a no-hitter into the sixth inning in his last outing against the Giants on Wednesday. He has a 3.19 ERA as a starter this season.
This story has been corrected to reflect that Grandal drove in the Dodgers’ first run, not Puig.
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