One night after losing a two-run lead in the 8th inning and subsequently falling to the Giants in the 10th, the Dodgers rewrote the script, scoring the tying run off San Francisco closer Santiago Casilla in the 9th and winning it in the top of the 10th.
The Dodgers struggled with runners in scoring position all day, going 2-for-21 with an opportunity to knock in a run. Los Angeles left the bases loaded three separate times on Saturday, but were able to scratch runs across in two of those situations: once in the third and once in the ninth.
Adrian Gonzalez grounded in to what should have been an inning ending double play in the top of the ninth, but San Francisco second baseman Kelby Tomlinson bobbled the ball, allowing the tying run to come across the plate.
Corey Seager and Charlie Culberson hit back-to-back doubles in the top of the 10th as the Dodgers avoided going 0-3 in San Francisco after starting the season 3-0 in San Diego.
For the first time in 2016, the matchup featured two of the best pitchers in baseball. Madison Bumgarner, a three-time World Series champion and 2014 World Series MVP, against Clayton Kershaw, a three-time Cy Young Award winner and 2014 MLB MVP.
The game was delayed more than 30 minutes because of rain, but once the game got started, the only thunder and lightning came off the bats of San Francisco's No. 8 and No. 9 hitters.
Bumgarner (1-0) and Ehire Adrianza hit solo home runs off Kershaw to give the Giants a 2-1 lead into the top of the ninth inning.
Bumgarner became the first opposing pitcher to have multiple home runs off a Dodgers' pitcher when he took Kershaw deep for the second straight year. It felt like déjà vu for the Dodgers as Bumgarner also homered off Kershaw in a May afternoon game in 2015. The pitch was the same – a fastball left up – and the placement was nearly the same as "Mad Bum" absolutely crushed the ball into the left field seats.
Bumgarner was brilliant on the mound as well, allowing just one run on six hits with eight strikeouts and one-walk in six innings. The North Carolina native worked his way out of multiple jams, including two different bases-loaded situations. The only run Bumgarner allowed came on a fastball that was thrown too inside to left-fielder Scott Van Slyke, who was hit by the pitch on the elbow, bringing in a run.
The game was tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning when backup shortstop, Adrianza took Kershaw deep to left field for the go-ahead home run. The solo blast was Adrianza's second of his big league career, and first in three years.
The mistake pitch – another hanging fastball – was nearly identical to the one Kershaw made to Bumgarne. Two big mistakes for the otherwise prototypically perfect pitcher were the only runs allowed by Kershaw has he got the no-decision in the win.
Kershaw allowed two runs on four hits with one walk and five strikeouts in eight solid innings.
Chris Hatcher (1-0) got the win for the boys in blue just one night after blowing the hold in the bottom of the 8th. Kenley Jansen worked a perfect 10th inning for his second save of the season.
Players of the Game:
Madison Bumgarner: 1 run, 6 hits, 8 strikeouts, 1 BB, 6 IP. Home Run.
Ehire Adrianza: 1-for-2 with the go-ahead HR in the 5th.
Clayton Kershaw: 2 runs, 4 hits, 5 strikeouts, 1 BB, 8 IP.
Charlie Culberson: Game-winning RBI double in the top of the 10th.
1. You Mad, Bum?: For the second straight year Madison Bumgarner homered off arguably the greatest pitcher on the planet. The San Francisco ace hit his 12th home run of his career, and second off Kershaw. He becomes the only pitcher to ever homer off the three-time Cy Young Award winner and he's done it twice now.
2. L.A. L.O.B: On the latest episode of LA LOB, the Dodgers stranded 13 men on the base paths on Saturday, and were a combined 2-for-21 with runners in scoring position. Not the best approach if you want to score runs against your rivals.
3. Battle of MVPs Part 8: 2014 regular season MVP, Clayton Kershaw, went head-to-head with World Series MVP, Madison Bumgarner, for the eighth time in their prolific careers on Saturday. The Giants are 5-2 in those games, and both pitchers have been brilliant.
Dodgers (4-2): Scott Kazmir takes the mound in his second start of the season as Los Angeles looks to split the four-game series in San Francisco.
Giants (4-2): Johnny Cueto looks to pick up his second win of the season as San Francisco tries to take the four-game series from the rival Dodgers.
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