Manager Don Mattingly #8 of the Los Angeles Dodgers takes the ball from pitcher Stephen Fife #59 taking him out of the game in the fifth inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on July 6, 2013 in San Francisco, California.
Despite winning 11 of 13 games heading into their game against the Giants, there was still a feeling that runs would be a premium for the Dodgers with Madison Bumgarner on the mound. Following the Dodgers dominant performance Friday, the Giants won 4-2 on Saturday.
Stephen Fife started for the Dodgers, but had his least effective start of the season lasting just 4.1 innings and giving up four runs on seven hits and one walk without a single strikeout.
The first inning brought about a play that you may never see again. With Gregor Blanco on third base and one out, Buster Posey brought him home on what would have been a RBI hit, except it was not Posey's turn to bat, as pointed out by Dodgers manager, Don Mattingly.
So without even coming to bat Pablo Sandoval was charged with an out, Posey's RBI hit was erased from record, Blanco returned to third base, and Posey came up to hit again in his correct spot of the lineup, this time flying out to end the inning.
The lineup card snafu cost the Giants a run, and with their offensive struggles of late, seemed like a big blow against them early in the game. They bounced back quickly, roughing up Fife in the second inning.
Fife got himself into trouble by hitting Brandon Belt with a pitch, and giving up a single to Andres Torres. Then the defense let him down with an ugly throwing error from Nick Punto to load the bases.
Even more frustrating than the error was watching Fife walk the pitcher, Bumgarner, with bases loaded to score the first run of the game. A single and sac fly followed, ending the inning with the Dodgers losing 3-0.
Technically, of the four runs Fife allowed on Saturday only one was earned because of the fielding errors. But he kept putting himself in bad situations and failed to bounce back from the errors.
Although it was a troublesome outing from the young right-hander, it was also one that is expected from a rookie. The Dodgers were somewhat spoiled by Fife's consistency at the back-end of the rotation last month.
J.P. Howell, Ronald Belisario and Paco Rodriguez picked up 3.2 innings in relief and did not give up any runs or hits, with eight strikeouts combined. A very dominant performance from the pen to keep the game close, but the bats did not take advantage.
Bumgarner limited the Dodgers to three hits in seven innings for two runs with three strikeouts. Their only runs were scored in the fifth inning on a two-run homer from Tim Federowicz that scored Andre Ethier.
Yasiel Puig went 0-4 with four strikeouts, but the Dodgers other hot hitter, Hanley Ramirez, extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a triple in the seventh inning.
The Dodgers fell back to four games under .500 and 4.5 behind Arizona in the NL West with their second loss in three games. Sunday is now the rubber match with All Star pitcher, Clayton Kershaw, on the mound facing the Giants' Chad Gaudin.