Dodgers shut out again in San Francisco

Dodgers shut out again in San Francisco
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws during the first inning against the Giants. Kershaw allowed four runs in 7 1/3 innings. (Beck Diefenbach / Associated Press)

Adrian Gonzalez looked up from his seat.

"Same interview, huh?" he asked.


Gonzalez chuckled as the players around him packed their bags in silence.

Dropping a 4-0 decision to the San Francisco Giants on Thursday in a game started by Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers were swept for the second time this season at AT&T Park.

Gonzalez's reaction was similar to when the Dodgers were swept here last month.

"When we wake up tomorrow, we're still in first place," the All-Star first baseman said.

Gonzalez didn't sound concerned about his team's failure to score a run in the three-game series.

"We just didn't get the ball to drop when there were runners in scoring position," he said.

The Dodgers' scoreless streak is now at 31 innings. They stranded 10 runners Thursday and 29 in the series. They have scored two runs in their last five games. They have lost six times in their last eight games, which has reduced their lead over the second-place Giants in the National League West to 1 ½ games.

In Gonzalez's mind, this isn't enough to be considered a crisis, not even with outfielder Yasiel Puig on the disabled list and starting pitchers Hyun-Jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy lost for the year.

Even the best of teams have stretches like this, he said, refuting the idea that the sudden downturn in performance was indicative of larger problems.

Manager Don Mattingly also downplayed concerns about team's offense, saying he liked how his hitters ran up Madison Bumgarner's pitch count and forced him out of the game after 6 1/3 innings.

Rather than field an entirely right-handed-hitting lineup, as he did the previous two times the Dodgers went against the left-handed Bumgarner, Mattingly elected to start a couple of left-handed hitters in Gonzalez and Joc Pederson.

Gonzalez reached base twice. Pederson hit a bloop double to lead off the third inning.

"I thought our at-bats were really good today early," Mattingly said. "We felt like we had a lot of guys out there, really made Madison pitch and made him fight, which is what we ask our guys to do. We just weren't able to get the hits to push the runs across.

"That's what we have to continue to do, just continue to have good at-bats."

While Gonzalez and Mattingly were preaching calm, Kershaw acknowledged he was frustrated. The league's most valuable player and Cy Young Award winner last season, Kershaw is 2-3 with a 4.32 earned-run average after his latest defeat.

Kershaw pitched 7 1/3 innings to match his season high, but was charged with four runs and seven hits. He has started opposite of Bumgarner three times and the Dodgers have lost all three times.

"Madison pitched really well," Kershaw said. "Tip your cap again."

Bumgarner (5-2) also hit, becoming the first pitcher to homer off Kershaw. Bumgarner's towering blast to left field in the third inning gave the Giants a 1-0 lead.

"Fastball right down the middle," Kershaw said. "I should have had a little more respect for him, I guess."

The Giants doubled their lead to 2-0 in the fourth inning, when Angel Pagan doubled and narrowly scored on a single to right field by Hunter Pence. The Dodgers asked for the play at the plate to be reviewed, but catcher A.J. Ellis was ruled to have missed the tag on Pagan.

"Not a whole lot in the tank, honestly," said Kershaw, whose fastball was a couple of ticks slower than usual. "It just wasn't coming out for whatever reason."

Kershaw departed the game with the Dodgers trailing, 2-0, after giving up a consecutive one-out singles to Pagan and Buster Posey in the eighth inning. Chris Hatcher gave up a single to Pence that allowed Pagan to score. Paco Rodriguez served up a single to Joaquin Arias that drove in Posey.

Dodgers relievers have inherited eight runners from Kershaw this season. Five have scored.

Kershaw didn't complain about that — or about the shortage of run support.

"It's part of the game, especially when you're pitching against guys like that," Kershaw said. "You just try to match them and I didn't do that today."

Kershaw said of the Dodgers' 0-6 record at AT&T Park, where the Dodgers don't play again until Sept. 28: "There's a reason. They have good pitching and this is a tough place to hit. I think those things combined make it tough some times. But we've won here before. We've won a lot in a row before too. Just going through a little something, I guess."

Twitter: @dylanohernandez