Chris Hatcher served up a one-out single in the ninth inning to Buster Posey and plunked Justin Maxwell, which led to J.P. Howell giving up a walk-off sacrifice fly to Joe Panik that resulted in a 3-2 defeat for the Dodgers against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park.
In addition the losing to the Giants for the second time in as many nights, the Dodgers might have also lost catcher A.J. Ellis. The pitch that struck Maxwell also struck Ellis on his throwing hand.
With trainer Stan Conte by his side, Ellis tried to make a couple of practice throws to first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Both throws sailed into the outfield and Ellis was removed from the game.
The game was the first in which a reigning most valuable player pitched against a reigning World Series MVP.
Kershaw, the king of the regular season, limited the Giants to two runs and three hits over six innings. He struck out nine and walked one.
Bumgarner, the king of October, gave up two runs and six hits over 61/3 innings. He struck out six and walked two.
Neither got a decision.
In the hours leading up to the game, the teams were aware they were taking part in something unprecedented.
"I think our guys know who's pitching today and know what kind of stuff he's got, what kind of challenge he is," Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said. "You know if you don't come with your A game, you get embarrassed. I think both teams know that you have to be ready to go today."
With the Dodgers facing a left-hander in Bumgarner and the two teams scheduled to play their series finale Thursday at 12:45 p.m., Mattingly started the game with the left-handed-hitting Gonzalez and Joc Pederson on the bench. Gonzalez and Pederson had started each of the Dodgers' previous 13 games and Mattingly wanted to give them time off.
Kershaw's curveball was sharp early, but struck out only one batter in the first two innings. Posey and Maxwell lined out to right field on successive at-bats, with Posey's ball requiring Yasiel Puig to make a diving catch.
The Giants' ability to put the ball in play resulted in them taking a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Joaquin Arias led off with a single to center field and Brandon Crawford followed by drawing a walk. A sacrifice bunt by Bumgarner put runners on second and third base with one out, setting up a run-scoring groundout by Nori Aoki. The Giants doubled their lead when Crawford scored on a bloop single to center field by Matt Duffy.
After the hit by Duffy, Kershaw struck out eight of the next 10 batters. From the fourth inning through the sixth, he faced the minimum number of batters.
Still, the Dodgers were trailing, 2-0, when Alex Guerrero pinch-hit for Kershaw with one out in the seventh inning.
As it turned out, the maneuver ended not only Kershaw's night, but Bumgarner's, too.
Guerrero sent a 92-mph fastball by Bumgarner into the left-field stands, tying the score, 2-2. His pitch count at 109, Bumgarner was replaced by George Kontos.
"Madison's great. It's always going to be a tough matchup when you have a guy like that," Kershaw said.
The next time Kershaw pitches, he will likely do so on an extra day of rest.
With Hyun-Jin Ryu sidelined indefinitely because of shoulder inflammation, the Dodgers are expected to use two spot starters in the next four days.
Mike Bolsinger will be promoted from triple-A Oklahoma City on Thursday to pitch in the series finale at AT&T Park. The right-hander was 2-0 with a 0.00 earned-run average in his first two starts with Oklahoma City.
Bolsinger's insertion into the rotation pushed back Zack Greinke's next start by a day. Greinke will start Friday on five-days' rest at San Diego in the first game of a three-game series.
Mattingly said the Dodgers could turn to another minor league pitcher Sunday for their last game in San Diego.