It took 132 pitches and was definitely white-knuckled at the end there, but Clayton Kershaw struck out Marlon Byrd with two on in the bottom of the ninth to secure his 15th K, tied for his career high, as well as give the Dodgers the victory. With the win, the Giants were summarily swept in the three-game series, sending them to their fifth straight loss. The Giants now sit 6.5 games back in the NL West, as well as 6.5 games back in the wild card. I would never count these cockroaches out, but obviously we could not have asked for a better outcome in this series--particularly not after being no-hit by the Cubs on Sunday evening.
Like last night, the killer blow came from an unlikely hero with a solo HR, and this time it was off the bat of Chase Utley--his first as a a Dodger and only his sixth HR all year.
The Dodgers' other run came from Carl Crawford, who had an RBI double in the second inning which Angel Pagan misplayed, giving Crawford another base and making sure Justin Turner scored from first without a throw home. Pagan later had an RBI single, but still ended the game a loser.
We will see if Mattingly's extended usage of Greinke (last night) and Kershaw (tonight) leaves our pair of aces drained for the home stretch. However, the returns in this series were pretty solid. Now we make the long trip down to San Diego for four games.