SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The San Francisco Giants are feeding off one of the best rivalries in baseball.
Kevin Pillar hit an RBI single in a two-run sixth inning and San Francisco dealt Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw his first loss of the season as the Giants snapped a five-game home losing streak with a 2-1 win over the NL West-leading Dodgers on Friday night.
“The biggest thing was the intensity level was raised during this game,” Giants first baseman Brandon Belt said.
“We knew it was a big game for us and playing a big rival and a very good team and we knew we had to step up. The thing to take away from this is we need to do that more often. We’ve got to take that into series against teams who aren’t the best teams in the league, and if we can do that we can win a lot more ballgames.”
Pillar’s bloop single to left off Kershaw (5-1) scored Belt from second with one out in the sixth, breaking a scoreless tie.
Belt had reached on a leadoff walk and Evan Longoria followed with a single.
Longoria moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Brandon Crawford’s fielder’s choice grounder.
Kershaw gave up two runs on six hits in seven innings. The three-time Cy Young winner hadn’t lost in 21 starts, dating to July 21. The Dodgers were unbeaten in his previous 17 starts dating to last season.
“You can’t let little mistakes beat you like walking the leadoff hitter and giving up two-strike hits,” Kershaw said. “That inning was the difference in the game … Sometimes singles do beat you. And that’s what happened tonight.”
Entering Friday’s game, the Dodgers had won seven of eight, 11 of 13 and 15 of 19.
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Struggling left-hander Drew Pomeranz held his own for San Francisco. Coming off a disastrous May in which he was 0-3 with a 19.16 ERA in four starts, he struggled at the outset as the Dodgers loaded the bases on two hits and a walk.
But Pomeranz escaped a 30-pitch first inning unscathed and went on to retire 14 of the next 15 batters he faced. He pitched five shutout innings of three-hit ball, striking out seven and walking one. He wasn’t involved in the decision.
“A lot of those situations this year have not been going my way, but it was really huge for me just to me personally to get out of that, and really huge for us to not have them on the board in the first inning,” Pomeranz said.
Reyes Moronta (3-4) pitched a scoreless sixth for the win. Will Smith pitched a scoreless ninth for his 14th save in 14 tries.
Chris Taylor homered off Giants’ reliever Tony Watson in the eighth for the Dodgers’ only run.
Left fielder Taylor tripped over the bullpen mound trying to field Belt’s foul ball leading off the sixth.
“It would be nice if they changed it and they could have a bullpen like everyone else behind the outfield,” Taylor said.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts selected Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker to the NL’s All-Star coaching staff. Roberts will manage the NL for a second straight year on July 9 at Progressive Field in Cleveland. … Taylor’s homer was the 37th by a visiting team at Oracle Park. The Giants have gone deep just 18 times at home. … Cody Bellinger was 0 for 3, snapping a 12-game hitting streak. … The Dodgers haven’t lost a series (8-0-2) since dropping two of three in San Francisco (April 29 to May 1). … Belt is a career .071 (4 for 56) hitter against Kershaw.
Dodgers: OF Alex Verdugo was held out of the lineup with “nagging” back tightness, manager Dave Roberts said. Roberts said the injury isn’t serious, but he wants to give the 23-year-old rookie extra rest after Thursday’s off day. … SS Corey Seager tripped over the base and hit the ground hard beating out an infield hit in the seventh. He appeared to be in pain but stayed in the game.
Giants: C Buster Posey (right hamstring) is hopeful he can come off the injured list the first day he’s eligible, on June 12, and manager Bruce Bochy is encouraged by the six-time All-Star’s progress. “He’s going to stretch with the team, throw today and tomorrow he’ll start hitting,” Bochy said. “I know his hope and our hope is when his time is up he’ll be ready to go.”
Dodgers: LHP Rich Hill (2-1, 2.25 ERA) is 5-1 with a 1.63 ERA in nine starts against the Giants since coming to Los Angeles.
Giants: RHP Jeff Samardzija (3-4, 3.61) is 1-4 with 3.59 ERA in nine games (seven starts) against the Dodgers.
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