They needed this one.
Brian Dozier's sacrifice fly in the 12th inning lifted the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 4-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night, snapping a five-game losing streak.
"We needed it," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts of the victory. "We salvage the series and we fought our tails off. We did a lot of good things tonight. Losing the lead late, but nobody batted an eye...we just kept fighting."
The struggling Dodgers bullpen coughed up a 3-0 lead in the eighth when rookie Caleb Ferguson gave up a three-run homer to Andrew McCutchen.
"You learn a lot more from failure sometimes than you do from success," said relief pitcher Scott Alexander who blew the save in Monday's loss, but pitched a scoreless inning of in the tenth inning on Wednesday. "I told him [Ferguson] 'You're going to learn a lot more than this than you think.' He's a young kid and he's going to learn a lot."
But Los Angeles held San Francisco scoreless over the four innings that followed, with Pedro Baez (4-3) throwing the final two innings to earn the win.
"For him to come out and throw up zeroes and give us a chance to win is huge," said Justin Turner of Baez. "Hopefully, he feels good about himself."
Left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, making his first start since suffering a serious groin injury on May 2, was brilliant in his return. He threw six scoreless innings, holding the Giants to three hits without allowing a walk and striking out six.
"It's huge," Roberts said of Ryu's performance. "You win with starting pitching, so to get him [Ryu] is a huge boost. The way he's been throwing the baseball is a big boost for our club."
In seven total starts this year, Ryu is 3-0 with a 1.77 ERA and has held hitters to a .152 batting average with 42 strikeouts and just 10 walks allowed.
Los Angeles ended a scoreless game with a run in the sixth after Yasiel Puig led off with a double. Puig, ejected Tuesday after a scuffle with Giants catcher Nick Hundley, took third on a flyout and scored on pinch-hitter Joc Pederson's sacrifice fly.
The Dodgers added two more in the seventh against reliever Ray Black. Justin Turner walked and scored on Manny Machado's double. Matt Kemp singled in Machado to give Los Angeles a 3-0 lead.
The Giants responded against the Dodgers' beleaguered bullpen in the eighth when McCutchen drilled his 14th homer.
"You pat Fergie [Ferguson] on the butt. He made some good pitches and McCuthen just took a good swing off him," said Turner of the McCutchen homer. "That's baseball. That stuff happens. No one is going to come in here and roll over just because we have a three-run lead and give it to us. You just have to find a way to win games."
It was the first time this season the Dodgers asked Ferguson to pitch in back-to-back games.
San Francisco starter Derek Holland went 4 2/3 innings, holding the Dodgers scoreless on six hits and four walks (two intentional), with seven strikeouts.
Yasmani Grandal led off the 12th with a double against Casey Kelly (0-1) and was singled to third before Dozier's flyball ended it.
"All you have to do is get the ball in the air, and that's all I was trying to do there," said Dozier of his final at-bat. "You can either nub something to the right side or just get the ball in the air. A little more to my strength is to get the ball in the air and he hung a breaking ball right down the middle and it ended up happening."
Dozier finished the game 1-for-4 with two walks and recorded his seventh career walk-off RBI, and second of the season (July 15 against the Rays while with the Minnesota Twins).
"A big relief to say the least. That was a huge win, and a must-needed win," said Dozier. "Heading into the off day and going to Seattle, that was a much-needed win."
The victory was the third walk-off win for Los Angeles this season as they improved to 6-6 in extra inning games this year.
The extra-inning affair marked the 17th time the two longtime rivals have gone to extra innings since 2014, the most of any two teams in baseball over that span, according to Stats LLC.
Giants: SS Brandon Crawford returned to the lineup after sitting out one game in the concussion protocol. ... 1B Brandon Belt (hyperextended knee) returned to the lineup. He was activated Tuesday, entered the game in the eighth when Hundley was ejected and scored the winning run on a close play at the plate. ... RHP Jeff Samardzija (right shoulder inflammation) threw a 30-pitch simulated game Tuesday and is scheduled to throw to hitters Friday before beginning a rehab assignment.
Dodgers: Placed RHP Ross Stripling on the 10-day disabled list with two compressed discs in his lower back, retroactive to Friday. Stripling said he's had the problem since college. ... LHP Tony Cingrani (left shoulder strain) was transferred from the 10-day to the 60-day DL. ... RHP Daniel Hudson (right forearm strain) is scheduled to come off the DL on Friday. ... Closer Kenley Jansen (irregular heartbeat) threw a second bullpen session. He is scheduled to see his cardiologist on Monday. ... LHP Julio Urias (left shoulder surgery) was scheduled to throw two-plus innings in a rehab start Wednesday, but lasted only 1 1/3 innings.
Giants: RHP Dereck Rodriguez (6-1, 2.25 ERA) is scheduled to start Friday when the Giants open a three-game series against the Reds in Cincinnati. The Giants are 9-3 in his previous 12 starts.
Dodgers: RHP Walker Buehler (5-4, 3.32) is scheduled to start Friday in the opener of a three-game series in Seattle. Buehler has a 2.80 ERA as a starter, limiting opponents to a .211 batting average.