Los Angeles

Johnny Cueto Outduels Rich Hill as Giants Even Series with Dodgers, 2-0

Eduardo Nunez and Brandon Belt both hit homers as the San Francisco Giants held on to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 2-0, on Vin Scully Bobblehead night at Chavez Ravine.

This time they sealed the deal.

Eduardo Nunez and Brandon Belt both hit homers as the San Francisco Giants held on to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 2-0, on Vin Scully Bobblehead night at Chavez Ravine.

The low-scoring affair featured a pitching duel between Johnny Cueto and Rich Hill. Cueto, a reigning World Series Champion with the Royals, outdueled his counterpart as the Giants evened the three-game series at Chavez Ravine.

"Obviously you want to win them all," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "This was just a well pitched ballgame and unfortunately we came up short."

Cueto (17-5) won his third consecutive start, throwing 5 and 1/3 shutout innings before he left the game with a strained groin with one out in the sixth. The Cy Young Award candidate scattered eight hits to go with two walks and six strikeouts on the night.

"Johnny is going to get an MRI in the morning and we'll have to see what happens," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Cueto's injury after the game. "We're hoping for the best, it's really day-to-day. We'll see."

Hill (12-5), was equally efficient, making just one mistake (the home run to Nunez), in an otherwise stellar outing for the southpaw. Hill allowed just six hits and fanned seven batters in five solid innings, his shortest start as a Dodger.

"It's disappointing. I made one mistake to Nunez and he did what he should have done with the pitch," a visbily dejected Hill said after the game. "I take 100 percent responsibility for this. You can't miss like that at this level."

Nunez scored the Giants first run of the game when he hit a fly ball to deep left field with one out in the top of the fifth that upon first glance appeared to hit the top of the wall and bounce back into the field of play.

Originally, the officiating crew ruled it a triple, but after a San Francisco challenge, replay showed the ball hit a camera on top of the wall and it was ruled a home run.

"I felt that it had gotten over the fence," Hill said of his initial thoughts on the home run. 

The dubious dinger appeared to be the only run of the game until Belt turned on a fastball from relief pitcher Grant Dayton in the top of the ninth to give the Giants a two-run lead. 

There was no carry over on the field from Monday night's benches clearing brawl between the two teams that was set off by San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner and Dodgers' outfielder Yasiel Puig.

Los Angeles wore pregame shirts with the hashtag, #DontLookAtMe, mocking Bumgarner, but San Francisco seemed more set on winning and less on retaliation.

Corey Seager provided most of the Dodgers offense, finishing 3-for-4 with a double, his 40th of the season, extending his rookie record. 

Josh Reddick went 2-for-3 and is now batting .413 with four four doubles and a home run in his last 15 games.

The Dodgers left ten men on base and were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position as they were unable to get the big hit off Cueto and the San Francisco bullpen. 

"There was a lot of traffic tonight," added Roberts. "We had guys on base all night long, but we just couldn't push any across."

Steven Okert, Will Smith, and Sergio Romo combined to pitch 3 and 2/3 scoreless innings of relief as the Giants overcame the demons that saw them blow saves in five of their last ten games.

Romo's save was his first of the season, his first since July 27, 2015 and the sixth different Giants reliever to record a save this season.

The Giants snapped a three-game skid with the win and now trail the Dodgers by five games in the National League West Division. 

The Dodgers Magic Number to clinch their fourth consecutive NL West title remains at seven.

Players of the Game:

Giants Bullpen: 3.2 innings of scoreless relief.
Eduardo Nunez: Solo home run.
Johnny Cueto: 5.1 shutout innings. 

Three Takeaways:

1. Just Hand Him The Trophy: Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Corey Seager recorded his 40th double of the season on Tuesday. He extended his LA Dodger lead with the two-bagger and is just the eighth rookie in MLB history to have 40 doubles and 25 home runs. He also surpassed Mike Piazza's rookie record of 307 total bases in a season.

2. Pay The Toles: Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Andrew Toles unleashed a 98 MPH rocket to third base to throw out Brandon Crawford in the first inning. The 97.6 MPH outfield assist was the third hardest throw by a Dodger outfielder this season.

3. Blown Out: Entering the game, the San Francisco Giants bullpen had blown an MLB-best 29 blown saves this season. That mark, which was reached in Monday's walk-off victory for the Dodgers, is also a franchise worst for San Francisco. For comparison's sake, the Mets are in second with 13 blown saves and the Indians have 11.

Up Next:

Giants (80-71): Matt More heads to the mound in the series finale on Wednesday.

Dodgers (85-66): Kenta Maeda takes the ball for the rubber match as Los Angeles looks to win the series on Wednesday at 7:10PM PST.

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