There might not be any crying in baseball, but it sure can offer revenge.
The Dodgers, embarrassed when they visited San Francisco last month –- getting swept in a three-game series without scoring a single run –- returned this weekend and got as close to payback as they could have imagined.
The Dodgers completed their own three-game sweep of the Giants at AT&T; Park on Sunday behind Clayton Kershaw’s five-hit shutout; their 4-0 victory pulling them into a tie with San Francisco for the lead in the National League West.
Of course, a month ago Matt Kemp and Mark Ellis were on the disabled list and Hanley Ramirez was still a Marlin.
All are in the lineup now that jumped all over the Giants for three days. It was the Dodgers who shut the Giants out for the last two games. Who after being outscored, 13-0, in three games here in June, outscored the Giants, 19-3, in these three weekend games.
Kershaw (8-6), supported by some strong defense, was in command throughout. He walked only one and struck out seven, and seldom was threatened.
Not that the Giants aren’t used to it. In his last seven starts in San Francisco, Kershaw has posted a 0.38 earned-run average. It was his second shutout of the season.
The Dodgers scraped a pair of runs together against Ryan Vogelsong in the fourth, to tag him for a loss for the first time this season in three starts.
The Dodgers got singles from Juan Rivera and Kemp in the fourth, Rivera taking third when Andre Ethier flied out. Ramirez then hit a potential double-play ball to third baseman Marco Scutaro, but with Kemp sliding hard into second, Ramirez was able to beat the relay as Rivera scored.
Scutaro lost a James Loney two-out popup in the bright afternoon sunlight that was curiously ruled an error to keep the inning alive. That allowed Luis Cruz to continue his hot hitting, the shortstop driving a run-scoring double into the left-center gap. Cruz has hit in a Dodgers-high 12 consecutive games.
Vogelsong left after six innings, giving up the two runs on six hits and three walks.
The Dodgers added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth against reliever Jeremy Affeldt. Loney doubled and scored on a Cruz basehit. After A.J. Ellis walked for the fourth time – the second time he’s managed that this season – Mark Ellis singled off George Konstos to score Cruz with the final run.
The Dodgers came to San Francisco a struggling team, having lost three consecutive games in St. Louis.
But with the sweep, the Dodgers not only finished their 10-game trip 7-3 but regained a share of the lead in the West. That’s actual payback.