Clayton Kershaw was the last pitcher the offensively struggling Giants wanted to face this series, and Sunday's 4-1 loss to the Dodgers was the perfect example why.
Kershaw, the Dodgers only All Star, dominated the Giants lineup to the tune of one earned run on three hits, one walk and one wild pitch with three strikeouts. The start brings his record to 8-5 with a Major League leading 1.89 ERA.
The only run came in the third inning when Guillermo Quiroz doubled and advanced to third base on a wild pitch from Kershaw. Andre Torres hit a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Quiroz for what was the tying run at the time and the only run for San Francisco.
In nine career starts at AT&T Park, Clayton Kershaw has allowed just seven runs. That is absolutely filthy, in fact his career ERA went up with Sunday's one-run eight-inning outing.
His 2013 has been so good that if he may be the first pitcher since 2000 to go into the All-Star Break with an ERA under 2.00.
Clayton Kershaw: has 1.89 ERA. Trying to be 1st lefty with sub-2.00 ERA at All-Star Break since Randy Johnson in 2000 (1.80)
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 8, 2013
The score was tied 1-1 for most of the game, as the Dodgers had just four hits going into the ninth inning. They scored their first run in the second after Andre Ethier singled in Hanley Ramirez from third base.
Ramirez reached base on a triple to extend his hitting streak to a career-long 18 games and was 2-for-4 on the day.
They were held scoreless until the ninth inning when the Giants closer Sergio Romo came into the game. Yasiel Puig led off the inning with a single, his second of the day.
Puig advanced to third on one of those plays that you seem to only happen with him on the basepaths. Adrian Gonzalez grounded to first basemen, Buster Posey, who bobbled the ball and rushed a throw to second for the force. The ball got away and ended up in shallow left field, and Puig motored his way to third where nobody was covering the base.
After a Ramirez groundout, an Ethier walk and a Juan Uribe strikeout, A.J. Ellis came up with the bases loaded and two outs. He smacked a double to the gap in left-center clearing the bases and making the score 4-1.
Kenley Jansen came in to close the game and finished off the series with a strikeout to Hunter Pence. It marks his ninth save of the season.
The Dodgers took two of three from the Giants, have split their last four games, and have won 12 of their last 15. They head to Arizona to face off with the NL West leading Diamondbacks starting Monday.