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Thanks to Puig, Dodgers finally solve Giants

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- Before Monday, the San Francisco Giants toyed with the Los Angeles Dodgers this season.

Before Monday, the Giants had never met Yasiel Puig.

Puig made his introduction in a hurry, kept San Francisco on the ropes through the middle innings and delivered the knockout blow in clutch fashion as the Dodgers finally broke through against their bitter rivals from the north.

The Dodgers scored in the bottom of the eighth inning to seize the lead, and they went on to beat the Giants for just the second time in seven chances with a 3-1 win Monday night at Dodger Stadium.

The last time Los Angeles beat San Francisco this season was opening day, when Clayton Kershaw pitched a shutout and hit a home run. Since then, it was five straight losses for the Dodgers against their rivals, including three straight by one run.

But that was all without Puig in the majors.

Now the Dodgers have him, and the Giants sure wish he weren't around.

Puig hit an RBI single in the eighth inning off the just-recalled George Kontos, and he opened the scoring with a first-inning homer off Madison Bumgarner (7-5). For much of the game, Puig was the only one who could hit Bumgarner, who allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits in seven-plus innings.

At this point, it's almost as if nothing Puig does is a surprise for Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.

"You feel like he's going to hit something hard," Mattingly said. "In that situation (in the eighth), you feel like you're going to get a run."

Added San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy: "He's a good player; he swings the bat well, strong. He's a talented kid -- can run, throw, hit with power, hit the other way. He got some big hits against us."

Puig went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, giving him 14 RBIs in 20 major league games. He had two hits off Bumgarner, who dominated the Dodgers (33-42) in his two previous starts.

Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu scattered eight hits and four walks while allowing just one run in 6 2/3 innings. Ronald Belisario, Paco Rodriguez and Kenley Jansen finished the game for Los Angeles, with Rodriguez (2-2) getting the win and Jansen his fifth save. Los Angeles won its season-high-tying third straight.

"I thought Ryu did a real nice job of kind of hanging in there despite giving up some hits," Mattingly said. "He kind of just kept hanging in and kept us in the game. It was nice for him to keep us in the game that long and give us a chance at the end."

Added Ryu through an interpreter: "I believe as a starting pitcher, the best thing you can do to help a team is go six or seven innings. I expect myself to do that. Today, I'm a bit regretful I couldn't go seven innings."

San Francisco (38-38) chipped away at the Dodgers early but had little to show for it, while Los Angeles just got one big bop from a familiar source.

The Giants managed seven hits in the first five innings but only one run, a second-inning RBI single by Andres Torres that scored Joaquin Arias and tied the game at 1.

Puig belted a one-out solo home run in the first inning, his seventh of the year, to put the Dodgers up 1-0.

"We threw out some pretty good at-bats but couldn't get the big hit to break it open," Bochy said. "You hope to create opportunities, which we did. We were just missing the hit."

NOTES: Arias exited the game after scoring from first base in the second inning with a sore hamstring that Bochy described as a mild strain. ... San Francisco CF Angel Pagan will have surgery on his torn hamstring and is expected to miss 10 to 12 weeks, Bochy announced. Gregor Blanco will continue to man center field with Torres in left field. ... The Giants placed RHP Chad Gaudin (elbow) on the 15-day disabled list just prior to the game, and recalled LHP Mike Kickham from Triple-A Fresno to start for Gaudin on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium. ... Dodgers CF Matt Kemp, who is on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Albuquerque, could return later this week. After Monday's game, he's just 2-for-11 with six strikeouts for the Isotopes. ... San Francisco optioned RHP Jean Machi to Triple-A Fresno and recalled Kontos, who is appealing a three-day suspension. ... The Giants also reinstated 3B Pablo Sandoval from the disabled list after a rehab assignment with Class A San Jose. He went 2-for-4. ... Bumgarner entered the game with a 16-inning scoreless streak against the Dodgers, with back-to-back eight-inning, zero-run performances. ... The reeling Giants entered the game on a 15-22 streak since May 14, the third-lowest winning percentage (.405) in the majors during that time.
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