Walker Buehler pitched three-hit ball over seven dominant innings for the Los Angeles Dodgers to extend his mastery of the San Francisco Giants in an 8-0 victory Wednesday night.
The Dodgers had lost three straight against their division rivals and were three games behind the first-place Giants in the NL West before Buehler’s gem on his 27th birthday.
The All-Star right-hander baffled the Giants with an effective mix of his four-seam fastball, sharp cutter and knuckle curve. Buehler (11-1) had eight strikeouts – three looking – and walked two.
Buehler, whose only loss this season came against the Cubs on June 24 when the Dodgers were shut out, improved to 7-0 lifetime against the Giants. In five starts versus San Francisco this season, he is 3-0 with a 0.79 ERA.
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The pitcher also drove in a run with a fielder’s choice grounder in the seventh.
Mitch White retired six batters to complete the five-hitter.
Cody Bellinger homered for the defending World Series champions. Max Muncy and AJ Pollock had three hits apiece.
The Giants managed five singles and had only two runners reach second base – one when Buehler bounced a full-count pitch past catcher Will Smith in the sixth.
The Dodgers batted around and chased starter Anthony DeSclafani (10-5) in the third. Justin Turner had an RBI single and Smith tripled to drive in two more. Pollock bounced a two-out single up the middle to make it 4-0.
DeSclafani fell to 1-8 in his career against the Dodgers after retiring just eight batters. He allowed six hits and four runs.
Bellinger homered off John Brebbia in the eighth.
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Dodgers: Manager Dave Roberts anticipates OF Mookie Betts will come off the injured list when he’s eligible to play Sunday in Arizona. Betts worked out before the game without setback from the right hip inflammation that has kept him out since July 25. … LHP Clayton Kershaw responded well after throwing 45 pitches in a three-inning simulated game Tuesday. Kershaw will pitch another one Sunday and Roberts said the plan is to have the three-time Cy Young Award winner make his return Aug. 7 against the Angels.
Giants: C Buster Posey came out of the game to begin the fourth after taking a foul ball off his mask earlier. … Indications are that SS Brandon Crawford will come off the injured list in time for Thursday’s game at Oracle Park. Crawford has made steady progress in rehabbing from a left oblique strain. … 1B Brandon Belt (right knee) will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento on Thursday.
Dodgers LHP David Price (4-0, 3.35 ERA) will make his seventh start Thursday at Oracle Park. All four of Price’s wins this season have come in relief.
RHP Johnny Cueto (6-5, 4.09) pitches for the Giants. Cueto has already won as many games as he did the previous three seasons combined.