SAN FRANCISCO – The Dodgers scored five first inning runs off Giants starter Johnny Cueto, but they couldn't finish the job as San Francisco came from behind for the third time in the series, beating Los Angeles, 9-6, on Sunday afternoon at AT&T park.
The fourth and final game of the first series of the season between the two bitter rivals featured two of the team's prize offseason acquisitions. Starting pitchers, Cueto (2-0) and Scott Kazmir, were on the hill in their first taste of the Dodgers-Giants rivalry.
Los Angeles struck first in the top of the first inning as they scored five runs off Cueto. The first eight Dodgers reached base as the boys in blue built up an early 5-0 lead.
As they have all series long, the Giants would come back. San Francisco scored two off Kazmir in the bottom of the first, and then hit two homers in the bottom of the third to tie the game at 5-5.
"I didn't have a feel for the cutter today and a lot of my pitches were right down the middle with no spin and they hit them all," Kazmir told reporters of his performance. "They made me pay with those mistakes."
Buster Posey sent Kazmir deep with one-out, and two batters later, Brandon Belt blasted a two-run shot to right-center that tied the game.
Los Angeles would recapture the lead in the top of the fourth after Chase Utley hit a one-out double to deep right field. One batter later, rookie Corey Seager singled him home and the Dodgers led 6-5.
Things unraveled from there as Angel Pagan took Kazmir deep to left center to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth. Kazmir got out of the inning, but Dave Roberts would go to the bullpen for the bottom of the fifth.
"No excuses. I just didn't get it done," Kazmir added. "I put them right in their wheelhouses and they didn't miss."
Relief pitcher Louis Coleman (0-1) pitched a scoreless fifth before the Giants broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth. Coleman allowed a leadoff double to Pagan before being lifted for left-hander J.P. Howell.
Howell struggled in his first appearance in game one of the series, and once again couldn't record an out as he allowed a single and a game-winning double to Joe Panik. In total, the Dodgers allowed three runs in the inning and would go on to lose 9-6.
"It's tough for me to evaluate. These were two bad outings," Howell said. "It's tough to put a finger on it. When it happens a couple more times, then it's time to adjust. They outgrinded me. They were tougher than me."
Players of the Game:
Corey Seager: 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored.
Trayce Thompson: 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
Buster Posey: 2-for-5 with an RBI, two runs scored and a home run.
Brandon Belt: 2-for-3 with a two-run home run.
Angel Pagan: 2-for-4 with a home run.
1. Silver Lining: There's not a lot of positive takeaways after the Dodgers dropped three of four games to the rival Giants in San Francisco. However, the Dodgers led in all three games they lost, and scored 17 total runs in the series.
2. Home Cookin': The Dodgers will get a day off on Monday before their Opening Day celebration at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.
Vin's voice and Dodger Stadium's beauty will make it all better.— Stacie Wheeler (@organicallyrude) April 10, 2016
3. Led Zeppelin: Scott Kazmir went from a one-hit shutout in his first appearance in San Diego, to an unimpressive six run, seven hit, four-inning outing on Sunday. Kazmir allowed three home runs in the game and saw his ERA balloon to 5.40.
Dodgers (4-3): After a rare off day on Monday, the Dodgers will host the Arizona Diamondbacks in their home opener on Tuesday afternoon. Kenta Maeda will look to win his second start of the season.
Giants (5-2): Jeff Samardzija will look to earn his first win of the season when the Giants travel to Denver to face the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday.
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