MLB

Giants retake NL West lead over Dodgers with season series-clinching victory

USATSI

The San Francisco Giants defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers by a 6-4 final (box score) on Sunday night, ensuring they’ll enter the new week with sole possession of first place in the National League West.

The Giants took an early lead in the first inning thanks to a Brandon Belt home run. The Dodgers answered back to tie the score at 1-1 in the second, but the Giants created separation in their half of the frame. Steven Duggar drove in a pair with a triple before then scoring on a Darin Ruf single. Just like that, the Giants had a 4-1 lead.

San Francisco then padded its lead in the third with RBI singles by Brandon Crawford and Curt Casali to make it 6-1. The Dodgers got a run back in the fifth on a bases-loaded walk by Will Smith, and two more on an Albert Pujols home run in the ninth, but that just wasn’t enough to extend the game.

It’s worth noting that the Giants eschewed using a traditional starting pitcher for the second time this series. Instead, Giants manager Gabe Kapler used nine relief pitchers to piece together the game. Only two of those arms, José Quintana and Camilo Doval, recorded more than three outs during their appearances.

Dodgers starter Walker Buehler, meanwhile, allowed a season-high six runs in three innings. To date, Sunday’s outing is the shortest of Buehler’s year.

The two sides entered the weekend’s three-game set tied in the division. The Giants won Friday’s series opener in 11 innings, netting them a single-game lead. The Dodgers answered back on Saturday to tie the division again. Yet it was the Giants who prevailed on Sunday, putting them a game up and cinching the season series against the Dodgers in the process. 

The two sides will not meet again during the regular season, though a postseason match-up — perhaps as early as the divisional round — is possible, depending on what happens the rest of the way.



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