Brandon Belt homered on Walker Buehler’s fifth pitch of the game, and the host San Francisco Giants shelled the Los Angeles Dodgers’ ace for a season-high six runs en route to a 6-4 win Sunday night to reclaim sole possession of first place in the National League West.
Nine pitchers combined on a six-hitter on a second consecutive bullpen day, allowing the Giants (87-50) to win for the second time in the three-game series and move one game up on the Dodgers (86-51) in both the West and the NL’s overall standings.
The victory also allowed San Francisco to win the season series 10-9, giving the Giants the tie-breaker advantage should they and the defending World Series champs finish the regular season tied atop the West. There are 25 games remaining.
Steven Duggar had a two-run triple off Buehler (13-3), while Brandon Crawford, Mike Yastrzemski and LaMonte Wade Jr. doubled off the NL’s ERA leader, combining for the most extra-base hits the right-hander has allowed in a game this season.
Belt got the parade in motion with his 21st homer of the season, the first of his career against Buehler, who entered the game with a 7-0 lifetime record against the Giants.
After the Dodgers drew even at 1 in the second inning on an RBI single by Will Smith, the Giants took the lead for good with a three-run bottom of the inning that featured Duggar’s triple and an RBI single by pinch-hitter Darin Ruf.
The Giants completed their scoring in the third on Crawford’s double and an RBI single by Curt Casali.
Buehler was pulled after three innings, charged with six runs on seven hits. He walked one and struck out one.
Buehler hadn’t allowed more than five runs in any of his previous 27 starts this season.
The Dodgers got within 6-2 on a bases-loaded walk drawn by Smith in the fifth, then made things interesting in the ninth when Albert Pujols hit a two-run, pinch-hit homer off Jake McGee with no outs. The homer was his 16th of the year.
When Max Muncy singled two batters later, the Dodgers brought the potential tying run to the plate with just one out. But McGee struck out Mookie Betts and got Justin Turner on a foul fly to right to end it.
Zack Littell (2-0), who retired all three batters he faced in the second inning with runners on second and third in a 1-1 game, was credited with the win.
Crawford, Yastrzemski and Casali had two hits apiece for the Giants, who will play 10 of their final 25 games against the third-place San Diego Padres.
The loss was just the sixth in the past 27 games for the Dodgers, who made a quick trip to the airport after the game to fly to an afternoon contest Monday at St. Louis.
–Field Level Media