LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bruce Bochy seemed uncertain how to respond to the question.
The Giants had just rallied for four runs with two outs in the ninth inning Monday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers’ beleaguered bullpen for a 5-2 victory.READ MORE: Public Health Officials Lift Warnings For Certain LA County Beaches
And then someone asked San Francisco’s manager if he felt sorry for the Dodgers, whose bullpen lost its fourth consecutive game with closer Kenley Jansen on the disabled list.
“Excuse me?” Bochy said.
Then came the laughter.
The Giants could afford to chuckle after pinch-hitter Nick Hundley drove in the tying and go-ahead runs with a single. San Francisco tacked on two more runs after that.
“What a great comeback,” Bochy said. “We had some really great at-bats there in the ninth. Hundley, it doesn’t get any more clutch than that. He came through at the right time.
“Great comeback on the road. It’s been a while since we have had one like that.”
The Giants improved to .500, while the Dodgers fell one game behind the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks in the crowded NL West. San Francisco is just five games out of first.
The ending was familiar for the Dodgers, who wasted a masterful performance by Clayton Kershaw. The left-hander held the Giants to one run in eight innings, allowing four hits, striking out nine and walking none.
And then the bullpen threw it away.
“They’re doing the best they can,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “They’re trying to make pitches. They’re in uncharted territory.”
Kershaw turned the ninth over to Scott Alexander (2-1), part of the late-inning committee the Dodgers have used since Jansen went on the disabled list Thursday with an irregular heartbeat.
The Giants loaded the bases with two outs before Hundley lined a two-run single to center.
“Bases loaded, tying run at third, you are afforded the luxury of being aggressive in that spot based on his approach,” Hundley said. “Thankfully I got a good pitch to hit.”READ MORE: Fourth Officer Who Responded To January 6 Attack Dies By Apparent Suicide
Ray Black (2-1) pitched a scoreless eighth for the Giants, and Will Smith worked the ninth to earn his ninth save in 11 opportunities.
Kershaw blooped a double to score Los Angeles’ first run, and Justin Turner’s homer gave the Dodgers a brief 2-0 lead.
The Dodgers have now lost four straight because they lack an obvious replacement for Jansen. Los Angeles was struggling to identify an eighth-inning set-up man and now has no closer.
“It’ll turn,” Roberts said. “It’s been a tough four games, but we have to keep getting leads and putting teams away.”
ANOTHER LEFTY DUEL
It was the 11th time Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner have faced each other, the most of any two active pitchers. Bumgarner allowed two runs in six innings.
“The guys did an unbelievable job coming back there,” Bumgarner said. “It was a good game on both sides. (Kershaw) was better than me tonight for sure, but we were better than they were. I think that is a good way to put it.”
Giants: SS Brandon Crawford left the game in the bottom of the fourth after colliding with OF Gorkys Herndandez on Kershaw’s bloop double. He appeared to take a knee to the head from Hernandez and is on concussion protocol. … 1B Brandon Belt (hyper extended right knee) made a second rehab start Monday, but it was uncertain whether he would rejoin the Giants in Los Angeles on Tuesday. … RHP Jeff Samardzija (right shoulder inflammation) threw a simulated game Monday. Bochy said he threw about 30 pitches.
Dodgers: 2B Brian Dozier left the game after the eighth, complaining of dizziness. Roberts said Dozier had an abnormal EKG and was scheduled for additional tests. … John Axford, one of the few relievers with closing experience, is headed for the disabled list. Roberts said Axford had a slight fracture atop his right fibula. “He’ll be down a couple, two or three weeks,” Roberts said.
Giants: LHP Andrew Suarez (4-8, 4.64 ERA) is scheduled to start Tuesday. The rookie will attempt to overcome a recent downturn that has seen him go 1-3 with a 7.43 ERA in his last five starts.
Dodgers: LHP Alex Wood (7-6, 3.58) is scheduled to come off the disabled list and make his first start since leaving his Aug. 3 outing with a sore hip. Wood missed only one start.MORE NEWS: 'People On This Block Are Hurting': More Allegations Pinned On LAPD In Aftermath Of South LA Fireworks Explosion
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)