Mauricio Dubon singled home the go-ahead run in the sixth inning and the San Francisco Giants beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1 on Sunday night.
The Giants gained a split of the four-game series under new manager Gabe Kapler to open the shortened season after the Dodgers took the first two by a combined score of 17-2.
“The first few games were unquestionably sloppy and this game was equally clean," Kapler said. “That’s a good sign. It’s a sign of a team that can make adjustments.”
The Dodgers left the bases loaded in the eighth, including the potential tying and go-ahead runs, after Kiké Hernández grounded out. Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger had back-to-back singles, the team’s first consecutive hits in the game.
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In the ninth, Los Angeles had the potential tying run at the plate when Trevor Gott struck out Max Muncy to earn saves in back-to-back games for the first time in his career.
Los Angeles managed five runs over the final two games of the series.
“You've just got to give credit to those guys. They matched up really well,” manager Dave Roberts said. “They did a good job finding ways to scratch out runs.”
Donovan Solano led off the sixth with an infield single. He went to second on pinch-hitter Pablo Sandoval's single and scored on Dubon's single to left field that snapped an 0-for-10 skid, giving the Giants a 2-1 lead.
San Francisco added a run in the seventh on Solano's single that scored Darin Ruf, who walked and stole second. Dubon had a hand in two of the team's three runs.
“Going into that game, a pretty, pretty low probability,” Ruf said of stealing a base. “It was a good situation to (steal) because (Pedro) Baez was kind of slow to the plate, first pitch, nothing to lose with Donny up and try to get in scoring position and make something happen. He came up really clutch and drove me in.”
Ruf moved from first base to left field in the sixth and caught Corey Seager's fly while running into the Dodgers' bullpen gate and forcing it open. In the third, Ruf's RBI single made it 1-0.
The Dodgers tied the game 1-all in the third on Bellinger's first RBI of the season, a two-out single on the first pitch from Drew Smyly.
Wandy Peralta (1-0) got the win with one scoreless inning of relief.
Brusdar Graterol (0-1) took the loss, allowing two hits and one run in one-third of an inning.
Smyly gave up one run and four hits in 3 1/3 innings of his first start after pitching in relief on Thursday. He struck out two and walked one.
Dodgers starter Julio Urías permitted one run and five hits in five innings. He struck out three and walked three.
Kenley Jansen retired the side in the ninth in his season debut for the Dodgers.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw threw 15 pitches off a mound and it went well, Roberts said. The left-hander will do the same thing Tuesday in Houston. Roberts expects Kershaw, on the injured list with a bad back, to make his season debut when the team is in Arizona from July 30 to Aug. 2.
Kapler didn't reveal his starter for either the second or third game of the series until hours beforehand. It wasn't until the series finale on Sunday that starter Smyly's name was released well before game time. Kapler turned conventional after the game, saying Jeff Samardzija will start Tuesday's home opener and Johnny Cueto will take the mound Wednesday. Samardzija did not appear against the Dodgers despite being the projected No. 2 starter. The 35-year-old right-hander was 11-12 with a 3.52 ERA last year.
Dodgers minor leaguer Connor Joe is cancer free after being diagnosed with testicular cancer in March, agent John Boggs tweeted Sunday. The 27-year-old was a non-roster invitee to spring training in Arizona when he found out. Joe had 15 plate appearances for the Giants last year. With the Dodgers' Triple-A team, he hit .300 with a .929 OPS, 15 home runs and 68 RBIs.
IN YOUR FACE
Dodgers fan Austin Donley of Hermosa Beach is keeping an eye on his mail after his cardboard cutout nearly got decapitated by Will Smith's home run. Donley and his father bought cutouts in the new home run seats in the left field pavilion for $299 each since fans aren't allowed at games. Donley tweeted at Smith on Saturday and asked if he got to keep the ball. “Sorry I took your head off,” Smith replied, using three joy emojis while asking Donley to reach out to him so he could “hook it up for you.”
The Giants host San Diego in their home opener Tuesday. The Dodgers travel to Houston to play the Astros on Tuesday in a highly anticipated rematch of the 2017 World Series, except without fans. RHP Walker Buehler will start for the Dodgers, who have not forgotten the illegal sign stealing committed by the Astros three years ago.