LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers failed to clinch the NL West title in front of their own fans. Now they’ll try to get it done on the road.
They were beaten 4-3 by the San Francisco Giants on Sunday, losing three of four to their rivals. The Dodgers’ magic number to secure their first division title since 2009 remained at four after second-place Arizona won.
“We’re definitely looking for the clincher,” first baseman Adrian Gonzalez said. “We wish we would have been able to do it here at home, but getting it is the most important thing and getting our guys healthy.”
The Dodgers were without shortstop Hanley Ramirez and outfielders Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford, all of whom have nagging injuries.
Rookie Yasiel Puig, who didn’t start because of left hip soreness, pinch hit in the ninth, but he grounded out with the bases loaded to end the game. Manager Don Mattingly said Puig could be out of the starting lineup anywhere from a day to two weeks, although Puig indicated he could return sometime in Arizona.
The Dodgers open a 10-game trip to Arizona, San Diego and San Francisco on Monday before returning home for three games against Colorado to end the regular season.
“We’re not in the postseason yet. We still have to win games,” catcher A.J. Ellis said. “We’ve got a tough Arizona team that’s going to want nothing more than to not allow us to clinch at their place. So we’ve got to win two games there to get it done, and that’s out mission.”
Hunter Pence hit two more homers, and Brett Pill connected for a tiebreaking shot leading off the eighth inning to help the Giants win their third in a row. They lead the season series 9-7 with three games left between the teams.
Pence has 19 RBIs in six games, the most for a Giants player in that span since RBIs became an official statistic in 1920, according to information provided to the Giants by the Elias Sports Bureau.
Pence became the first Giants player to homer in four consecutive games since Barry Bonds from September 2005. He drove in three runs, a day after his grand slam and career-high seven RBIs led the Giants to a 19-3 rout at Dodger Stadium.
Pence piled up the most RBIs in a series against the Dodgers since 1935, when Ripper Collins of St. Louis had 13 during a five-game set.
Pence joined Willie Mays as the only players in Giants history to homer in every game of a four-game set against the Dodgers, which Mays did twice. Pence’s five homers tied for the most ever in a series against the Dodgers, tying Philadelphia’s Mike Schmidt in 1979 (four games) and Pittsburgh’s Frank Thomas in 1958 (five games).
Jean Machi (3-1) pitched one inning. Sergio Romo closed for his 35th save in 39 chances.
Paco Rodriguez (3-3) gave up Pill’s homer.
Pence homered leading off the second for a 1-0 lead.
The Giants tied it at 3 with two outs in the sixth on Pence’s two-run shot. Brandon Belt singled and moved up on a wild pitch by Edinson Volquez before Pence hit his 25th homer.
“That’s one guy you really don’t want to be leaving the ball up to at all,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “Volquez didn’t execute a couple of pitches and he made us pay.”
Los Angeles took a 3-1 lead in the fifth on Gonzalez’s bases-loaded double down the right-field line. With one out, Volquez reached on an infield single, Dee Gordon followed with a single and Mark Ellis got hit by a pitch.
The Dodgers thought they had tied it at 1 in the fourth, but a video review showed the ball bounced near the top of the center-field wall and Juan Uribe was credited with a triple rather than a home run.
Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings. Volquez gave up three runs and five hits in 5 2-3 innings, struck out seven and walked none.
NOTES: The Dodgers lost their third in a row. … With the defeat, the Dodgers lost their first series to a divisional opponent since June 10-12 against Arizona. … Gonzalez has 95 RBIs this season. … SS Dee Gordon went 2 for 4 in his first start since Aug. 11. … The Dodgers are the first major league team to exceed 3.5 million in attendance this season. They lead the majors in both average home and road attendance (35,622).