Dodgers’ Zack Greinke outpitches Giants’ Madison Bumgarner in 2-1 victory

The Dodgers won for a second time in their current three-game series with the San Francisco Giants, and Los Angeles Times sports columnist Bill Plaschke tells us why that is so big.

This was only one game in a season of 162. Only this felt like something more.

The Dodgers’ 2-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night was more than a preview of what October baseball could look like at Dodger Stadium. The triumph showed the 48,060 fans why they could dream about what could happen here next month.

This game was won the way games are won in the postseason, with Zack Greinke outpitching Madison Bumgarner, with Joc Pederson hitting a seventh-inning home run, and with rookie second baseman Jose Peraza starting a pivotal eighth-inning double play with a flip of his glove.


By claiming the first two games of the three-game series, the Dodgers solidified their position as the leaders in the National League West, increasing their advantage over the second-place Giants to 51/2 games.

The last time the Dodgers were ahead by as many games was July 10.

The Dodgers have 31 games remaining in the regular season and the Giants have 30. They will play each other five more times, including Wednesday in a series finale in which the Dodgers will start Clayton Kershaw.

The last time they meet will be in a four-game series at AT&T Park from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1.

If the performance Tuesday night wasn’t Greinke’s most dominant of the season, it was certainly his most important.

Greinke (15-3) pitched 71/3 innings, limiting the visitors to one run and five hits to lower his earned-run average to 1.59.

The signature moment of the start came in the seventh inning, which Greinke started by giving up a single to Brandon Belt and walking Buster Posey.

With the Dodgers protecting only a 1-0 advantage, Greinke got Marlon Byrd to ground out to third base – but barely. The play at first base was close enough that Manager Bruce Bochy asked the umpires to review the play. The call stood.

The runners stood at second and third base.

Greinke responded by striking out Alejandro De Aza, whom the Giants acquired Monday night from the Boston Red Sox. Greinke then forced Kelby Tomlinson to line out softly to right field to end the threat.

In the bottom half of the inning, the slumping Pederson hit the most important home run of his infant career, doubling the Dodgers’ lead to 2-0 by sending the ball over the baby-blue wall in right-center field.

Pederson became only the second left-handed hitter a home run against Bumgarner this season. The other was Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals.

The home run was Pederson’s 24th, but only the fourth since the All-Star break. His slide reached such a low point that Manager Don Mattingly batted him ninth Tuesday night, one spot behind Greinke.

The inning marked the end of the line for Bumgarner (16-7), who gave up two runs and eight hits.

Greinke pitched into the eighth inning, but required help from the Dodgers’ frequently criticized bullpen. He gave up three consecutive one-out singles, including one by Matt Duffy that narrowed the Giants’ deficit to 2-1.

With runners on first and second base, Mattingly called on left-hander Luis Avilan to face the left-handed-hitting Belt.

Avilan got Belt to hit a grounder toward second base. Peraza scooped the ball with his glove and flipped it to shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who completed the doubleplay and preserved the one-run advantage.

Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth inning to register his 28th save.

The Dodgers first gained an edge in the third inning, when they manufactured a run to move in front, 1-0. Peraza started the sequence with a two-out single to right field. Justin Turner followed with a walk.

Up came Adrian Gonzalez, who drove in the winning run in the Dodgers’ 14-inning victory Tuesdasy night.

Gonzalez attacked the first pitch Bumgarner delivered to him, redirecting it to left field for a single that drove in Peraza.

The run batted in was the team-leading 79th of the season for Gonzalez, who topped the major leagues in that category last season.

Up next

Left-hander Kershaw (11-6, 2.24 ERA) will face right-hander Mike Leake (9-6, 3.53) and the Giants on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Dodger Stadium. TV: SportsNet LA; Radio: 570, 1020.