Giants bounce back to edge Dodgers

On manager Bruce Bochy’s 61st birthday Saturday night, the San Francisco Giants scored a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the second game of the series to snap a two-game losing streak.

Unlike Friday night, when pitcher Madison Bumgarner allowed seven runs and his team lost 7-3, the Giants got off to a strong start at Dodger Stadium.

The Giants ended the Dodgers’ three-game winning streak, and with that, rose back up to share first place in the NL West. With both clubs sporting a 7-5 record, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of his squad:

“They’re a great bunch here and they come to play every day and we broke a little streak here and we fought hard tonight. The mod of this club I don’t have to worry about. It’s a great bunch, a resilient bunch and they’re able to put the tough games behind them.”

This post has been updated with quotes and post-game material from the Giants locker room at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

In the first inning, Joe Panik singled off Dodgers starter Scott Kazmir (L, 1-1, 6.43 ERA) on a ground ball to Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, and Denard Span scored to put the Giants up 1-0.

San Francisco built on their lead in the fourth inning, when Brandon Crawford hit a ground-rule double on a fly ball to the left field, scoring Hunter Pence to score.

In the fifth inning, Brandon Belt singled on a line drive to Dodgers left fielder Kike Hernandez and Panik scored. Then Matt Duffy grounded into a double play and Buster Posey scored to bring the Giants up 4-0.

Giants left-handed starter Johnny Cueto (W, 3-0, 3.38 ERA) beat the Dodgers for the second consecutive start, allowing only one run on three hits. He struck out seven in seven and one-third innings and retired the first 13 hitters before giving up a one-out double to Yasmani Grandal in the fifth inning.

Cueto said in Spanish:

“I felt really good in the bullpen and I told myself I needed to be aggressive today. I just felt more aggressive and I felt a lot better than the other starts.”

In the seventh inning, Kike Hernandez, who scored two homers on Bumgarner the previous night, singled on a line drive to Pence and Justin Turner scored, giving the Dodgers their first run.

That wasn’t it for the Dodgers, though.

Los Angeles fans came alive in the eighth inning, when Corey Seager hit a home run on a fly ball to center field and A. J. Ellis scored, cutting the Giants lead to 4-3.

The Dodgers tried to make a comeback at the bottom of the ninth, but Santiago Casilla managed to slam the door for his third save of the season.

The Giants improved to 4-6 on Bochy’s birthday.

Cueto didn’t seem fully aware that Bochy has lost on many birthdays past, and said in English:

“Wow. But we win today, tonight.”

The crowd of 53,409 was the Dodgers’ third sellout of 2016 and, coupled with last night, totaled the highest back-to-back attendance at Dodger Stadium since the New York Yankees visited on June 26 and 27, 2010.

The rivals face each other for the final match in the three-game series on Sunday, with first pitch at 5:05 p.m.