Giants' Bullpen Comes up Big in 5-0 Win Over Dodgers
Alex Wood and five relievers combined on a three-hitter and the San Francisco Giants beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 on Tuesday night, ending a six-game losing streak to their NL West rivals.
Joc Pederson hit a two-run double in the first inning and David Villar and Brandon Crawford hit back-to-back homers in the eighth to complement a solid effort from the Giants’ bullpen, which tossed 4 1/3 innings of two-hit ball.
“Pitching win championships so that was really fun to be a part of,” Pederson said. “Woody threw the ball great, scored some runs, bullpen was good so a great team win overall.”
A day after clubbing three home runs for the fourth time this season in a 9-1 win over the Giants, the Dodgers stranded 10 baserunners.
Los Angeles missed a big opportunity in the sixth after loading the bases with no outs following a catcher’s interference call. Jakob Junis got Chris Taylor to strike out swinging, and then left-hander Scott Alexander (1-0) fielded James Outman’s short comebacker and flipped to home for the force. Alexander followed with a swinging strikeout of Miguel Rojas.
“We had a lot of guys on base, we just couldn’t get the hit,” Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman said. That’s kind of how it goes sometimes. Woody pitched good, and their bullpen came in and did well too. We’re not going to make an excuse for scoring zero runs.”
John Brebbia allowed a leadoff walk to Mookie Betts in the seventh, then retired the next three batters to end another Dodgers threat.
Tyler Rogers and Camilo Doval set down three batters apiece to finish it off.
“I really have a lot of faith in everybody in our bullpen,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “Obviously Alexander’s thrown the ball well for us since he’s been in a Giants uniform. There’s a lot of trust in him. Today I thought it made the most sense to let the bullpen do the work and they did a great job.”
Rogers said San Francisco’s bullpen is still searching for an identity.
“I can’t really speak to the feel quite yet,” Rogers said. “Today was a good step in the right direction to figure out kind of our identity as a bullpen.”
Wood was much sharper than he was against the Chicago White Sox, who chased him after three ineffective innings on April 6. Although he remains winless against the Dodgers in eight starts with San Francisco, Wood allowed one hit, struck out five and worked around three walks in 4 2/3 innings.
“Anytime you can get a win against a team of that caliber (is good),” Wood said. “They’re a great team much less a division opponent, too.”
The Giants scored early and late. Pederson lined his two-run double down the right-field line against Dustin May (1-1). Villar and Crawford went deep off reliever Evan Phillips.
May allowed two hits and four walks over 5 1/3 innings. He was limited to six starts last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery and had allowed only one run in his first 13 innings this year.
The Dodgers had won their last eight games at Oracle Park dating to last season.
San Francisco second baseman Thairo Estrada entered the game late as a defensive replacement then made one of the game’s biggest plays when he snagged Outman’s grounder and threw him out while still sitting on the infield dirt.
Giants OF Mitch Haniger (left oblique strain) and OF/IF Austin Slater (left hamstring strain) are both progressing and have resumed baseball activities but aren’t likely to rejoin the team until it returns from its upcoming trip. Kapler said both players could begin rehab assignments soon.
Dodgers ace LHP Clayton Kershaw (1-1, 3.75 ERA) gets the start in the series finale on Wednesday. Kershaw allowed nine earned runs in 18 1/3 innings during four appearances against the Giants last season. RHP Alex Cobb (0-1, 2.53), who has 12 strikeouts and one walk over his first two starts, goes for San Francisco.