The Dodgers defeated the Giants 7-3 on Friday evening in the series opener on Jackie Robinson night. Jackie would have been quite proud of the boys in blue as they took advantage of several Giant’s miscues in the field. Kike Hernandez and Charlie Culberson drove in all the runs, with Kike slugging two home runs on the evening. This was a sloppy game on both sides as there were four errors in the game, three by the Giants. Kershaw made two wild pitches, which allowed two runs to score.
The Madison Bumgarner/Clayton Kershaw battle did not turn out like we expected. Bumgarner had one of the worst games we’ve seen of him in some time. Bumgarner did fall victim to the Giant’s poor defense, but he did not have his best stuff. He was constantly behind in counts throughout the night, and allowed seven runs (four earned) on eight hits across five innings. He still struck out 8 and walked one. Kershaw on the other hand was much better, but was not on his a-game either. Kershaw allowed three runs, two of them earned on five hits over seven innings. He struck out six and walked none.
Giants 3 5 3
Dodgers 7 5 1
The Dodgers scored one run in the first, one in the third, and four unanswered runs in the fourth. They added one more in the seventh inning. Kike Hernandez was the offensive star of the game. The banana boy used potassium power to slug two home runs off Bumgarner and had three hits on the night. Kike was 3 for 4 with 4 runs driven in, and two runs scored. He is now 10 for 16 vs. Bumgarner. Shortstop Charlie Culberson also had a great game, collecting two hits in a 2 for 3 performance while driving in three runs. All seven runs were driven in by Hernandez and Culberson.
Hernandez opened the game by slugging the first pitch by Bumgarner out of the park halfway into the pavilions in left center field for his first home run of the season. The Giants tied the score in the top half of the third. The Dodgers committed some defensive blunders of their own, and the Giants took advantage. With one out, Bumgarner blooped a single into left. Gregor Blanco hit what looked like a sure double play ball, but Kendrick flubbed it for an error. With runners at first and second, Angel Pagan’s ground ball single eludes the diving Adrian Gonzalez to load the bases. After Joe Panik fouls out to Turner, Kershaw uncorks a wild pitch while Buster Posey was at the plate to score Bumgarner.
With the score now tied at 1-1, the Dodgers came back to score five runs over the next two frames to take a 6-1 lead. Kike slams his second home run of the game in the bottom of the third to put the Dodgers back in the lead. Kershaw retired the Giants in order in the top of the fourth. The Dodgers struck back for four runs in the bottom half of the inning, thanks to two huge Defensive blunders by the Giants.
In that frame, Turner walked. Kendrick singled, and A.J. Ellis reached on the first error of the frame by Kelby Tomlinson. Brandon Crawford is injured, so Tomlinson is playing for him at shortstop. With the bases loaded, Culberson’s two-run single gives the Dodgers a 4-1 lead. The Giants make another error on a force attempt grounder by Kershaw. Then Kike doubles down the left field line to plate two more Dodger runs. The Dodgers lead 6-1!
The Giants scored two runs in the sixth frame to close the gap to 6-3. That was with Kershaw still on the mound. In typical Giants fashion there are consecutive piddly infield singles from Pagan and Panik. After a Posey grounder moves the runners to second and third, a second wild pitch from Kershaw scores Pagan to cut the score to 6-2. Hunter Pence’s ground ball single into left scores the other run and the Dodgers have a 6-3 lead.
The Dodgers come right back with another run in the bottom of the sixth. A.J. doubles, and Culberson’s line drive single to center scores him to give the Dodgers a 7-3 lead. Chris Hatcher pitches a 123 top of the eighth inning getting a strikeout on Posey. Hatcher looked better seemingly not distracted by the birth of his child anymore. In case you missed it, Austin Barnes was optioned down to make room for Hatcher as he came back from the paternity leave. Joe Blanton pitched a 123 top of the ninth inning to seal the win.
Kershaw is now 17-7 against the Giants in his career, and 3-4 versus Bumgarner. The Dodgers improve to 7-4 on the season and are now 3-1 at Dodger Stadium. Man Beating the Giants feels so good. The series continues on Saturday night with a rematch from last Sunday’s game. Johnny Cueto will match-up against Scott Kazmir again at 6:10 PM. Great game! Happy Jackie night! Go Blue!