Dodgers still have a Giants problem after 6-2 loss

Dodgers fall to 2-9 against San Francisco this season and their division lead shrinks to half a game

With the tips of his fingers, Yasmani Grandal repeatedly tapped the wall against which he was leaning. His jaw was clenched.

Again, the Dodgers couldn't score more than a couple of runs Saturday. Again, they couldn't beat the San Francisco Giants, this time dropping a 6-2 decision at Dodger Stadium that reduced their division lead over their second-place visitors to a half-game.

The Dodgers are 2-9 against the Giants this season. Their three-game series will conclude Sunday.

"I can care less whether we're 0-20," Grandal said. "I don't really care. You've got to play, still, over 90 games."

As Grandal continued to tap the wall, he talked about how he thought Giants starter Tim Hudson benefited from a wide strike zone.

"About a ball and a half away," Grandal said.

The 39-year-old Hudson pitched 6 1/3 innings and limited the Dodgers to two runs, which were scored on back-to-back solo home runs by Joc Pederson and Justin Turner in the first inning.

The Dodgers had only four hits over the last eight innings of the game, which made Grandal lament what he perceived as their misfortune.

"Every hard-hit ball, it seemed like it was straight at somebody, unless it was a home run," Grandal said with a sigh.

The Dodgers have dropped six of their last eight games. They have scored two or fewer runs in 19 of their last 34 games.

With Carlos Frias imploding on the mound — the rookie right-hander was charged with six runs over 5 1/3 innings — the Dodgers had no chance. Frias gave up a two-run home run to Justin Maxwell in the fifth inning and another to Brandon Belt in the sixth, which accounted for the four-run differential.

"I think his adjustments need to improve a little bit more," said Grandal, who caught Frias.

Later, on the other side of the clubhouse, Adrian Gonzalez continued to preach patience.

"It's a marathon," Gonzalez said. "I know a lot of people like to focus on the last two weeks. It's a long season.

"But who knows? Maybe in two weeks, you're going to be talking about how good our offense is and you'll forget all about these last two weeks."

Gonzalez batted cleanup for the second consecutive day, as Manager Don Mattingly stayed with a lineup that scored five runs in a defeat the previous night.

Yasiel Puig batted leadoff, followed by Pederson and Turner.

"I personally like the lineup that we have right now," Gonzalez said. "But no matter how you structure it, it's up to us to put together quality at-bats and hit the ball hard."

The Dodgers left 13 runners on base. They were 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position.

Like Grandal, Gonzalez downplayed the significance of the mounting defeats to the Giants.

"To me, it means if we win tomorrow, we'll be 1 1/2 games up," Gonzalez said. "Nobody goes back after you win a division and says, 'Who'd you beat and who'd you lose to?'"

Mattingly was about the only person who conceded that dropping games to the Giants was a problem.

"They've basically gained seven games on us in the games that we've played them," Mattingly said. "So, obviously, that's something that we have to be able to change."

After this series, the Dodgers' next game against the Giants will be on Aug. 31, when the teams open a three-game series at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers will visit San Francisco for a four-game series that starts on Sept. 28.

"I think, at the end, it's all about us trying to win the division," Mattingly said. "It makes sense that it's probably going to go through those guys. We're going to have to find a way to get it done."

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