Walker Buehler pitched seven stellar innings of three-hit ball, Max Muncy homered on his bobblehead night, and the Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants 3-1 on Tuesday night, sweeping the two-game rivalry set at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers climbed within 1 ½ games behind the Giants in the National League standings and seem to be clicking on all cylinders after picking up their fifth consecutive win.
Los Angeles has won 6 of 9 games against San Francisco and are eying a seed change in the top of the division. The Giants suffered its third loss in a row.
“[The homestand] started pretty bleak,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “But we finished off really well and I thought guys responded really well from that last series in San Diego and then getting no-hit. Gausman is one of the best pitchers in baseball, and the team’s offense was as good as I’ve seen it.”
Buehler (8-1, 2.35) struck out seven batters and received a standing ovation after a regular season career high 113 pitches in 6 2/3 innings. The RHP only run allowed was unearned and he has gone at least six innings in all 16 starts this year.
“They’re maybe the coolest thing in our game, for me at least as a starting pitcher,” said Buehler on his ovation. “That’s really cool, obviously. Talking to the two umpires while it’s happening is a little bit different, but we enjoy it nonetheless.”
San Francisco RHP Kevin Gausman (8-2, 1.68 ERA), came into the night having the second-lowest ERA in the NL but was tested early by Los Angeles.
Gausman walked two and pegged Justin Turner to load the bases in the first inning, leading to Chris Taylor connecting on a two-out, two-run double to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.
Muncy kept momentum going in the third and homered to center on a 404-foot-long ball. The power swinger has now hit seven home runs in eight starts against the Giants this season.
“It always seems like when guys have their bobblehead night they always do something special so I’m glad I didn’t disappoint,” Muncy said postgame.
“I think he’s as selectively aggressive as any hitter in baseball,” said Giants manager Gabe Kapler on Muncy. “It’s why he walks so much, but can still unleash his A-swing on a 3-0 count. It’s not a passive approach, it’s one where he’s always trying to do damage.”
Steven Duggar had an RBI double in the seventh for the Giants after a two-out error by shortstop Gavin Lux, which then led to Buehler being replaced by relief pitcher Joe Kelly.
Kelly got four outs as expected and the Dodgers then relied on their closing pitcher in Kenley Jansen to finish the job.
“Joseph has been great. You just see the confidence now. He’s pitching as well as I can remember,” said Roberts on Kelly’s performance.
Jansen allowed two baserunners to open the ninth, but quickly rebounded strong with two strikeouts and a popup. The well trusted closer allowed no runs for the eighth time in the month of June and the Dodgers grabbed an impressive 3-1 victory over the Giants.
“In the past few years, that’s always been a big thing for us (that) we can catch momentum and go beat good teams, and I think we did that for five games,” Buehler said. “It’s a step forward for us. We don’t think we’ve been playing to our potential every night, and five out of six, that’s what we want to do, especially against teams like that.”
Up next and with a day of rest, Tony Gonsolin (0-0, 2.77 ERA) will open a four-game series on the road against the Washington Nationals on Thursday at 4:05 P.M.