NL West: Bumgarner, Puig clash; Dodgers rally past Giants 2-1 in 9th
Los Angeles Dodgers' Corey Seager, left, dives in past San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey as he scores the game-winning run on a double by Adrian Gonzalez during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 19, 2016, in Los Angeles. The Dodgers won 2-1. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Giants-Dodgers rivalry is still nasty.
Adrian Gonzalez hit a game-winning double in the bottom of the ninth inning, and Los Angeles rallied past San Francisco for a 2-1 victory Monday night that increased its NL West lead to six games.
“It was awesome,” Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw said. “A really fun team win and a pretty important one, too.”
Two innings after a shoving match broke out when tempers flared between Madison Bumgarner and Yasiel Puig again, the Dodgers' comeback in the ninth began with pinch-hitter Andrew Toles' leadoff single.
Corey Seager singled past diving second baseman Joe Panik on a two-strike pitch from Javier Lopez (1-3), allowing the speedy Toles to reach third.
Justin Turner's two-strike single tied the game, and Gonzalez followed with a drive to deep right field that eluded Hunter Pence.
“That's what we love about our team — we're never out of games,” Turner said.
Joe Blanton (6-2) won in relief after the latest bullpen flop by the struggling Giants, which followed a tense pitchers' duel between Bumgarner and Kershaw.
Both benches and bullpens emptied during the seventh-inning scuffle.
Bumgarner fielded a slow tapper by Puig along the first base line and threw him out to end the inning. The left-hander punched his glove emphatically and said something that didn't appear to be very cordial.
“That wasn't Puig's fault,” Kershaw said. “We all know Bum is pretty intense out there. He definitely stirred the fire on that one and he deserved it.”
Puig glared back and responded, and soon both teams massed near first base before the dustup ended without any punches.
“He asked me, `Why you looking at me?'” Puig said through a translator. “I asked him why he was looking at me.”
In the second, Puig doubled for the lone hit given up by Bumgarner.
“Maybe because it was his only hit and he was angry,” Puig said. “Every time I face him it seems like we have those problems. We're tired of it. It definitely motivates us and seems to have a distraction in their head.”
Bumgarner appeared to be annoyed after the game.
“I didn't hear what was going on,” he said. “I just got him out and he tried to stare me down or something. That's what it looked like to me.”
Kershaw didn't join his teammates in rushing the field because he was inside working out after his outing.
“I didn't have time to get my clothes back on and get out there,” he said. “Not that I was going to start anything.”
Bumgarner and Puig have clashed in the past, leading Turner to joke, “Those two like each other a lot.”
Giants manager Bruce Bochy had his back turned and was retreating down the dugout steps when the fracas broke out.
“They're not going to go out to dinner,” he said. “It's been going on for a while, so it doesn't surprise me anymore.”
The late-game theatrics overshadowed a scintillating matchup between two of the game's top left-handers, Bumgarner and Kershaw.
Bumgarner allowed one hit over seven scoreless innings. He struck out 10, walked none and retired his final 10 batters.
Kershaw gave up an unearned run and three hits in six innings, his third start since returning from a back injury. He struck out seven and walked one. The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner retired seven in a row before leaving.
Eduardo Nunez scored in the third on Kershaw's wild pitch that bounced in front of the plate and over the head of catcher Yasmani Grandal.
“I wanted to make sure I got it down and I definitely did,” Kershaw said.
The Giants led the division by 6 1/2 games at the All-Star break but lost the lead to the Dodgers on Aug. 21. Since the lead changed hands, San Francisco has lost 16 of 27 and the Dodgers have won 18 of 28. They play each other five more times over their final 12 games.
TRAILING AFTER EIGHT
The Dodgers improved to 5-55 this season when trailing after eight innings. The Giants lost for the ninth time when ahead after eight, the highest single-season total in franchise history. It was the eighth one-run game among 14 meetings between the rivals this season, with the teams winning four each. The season series is even at seven games apiece.
The crowd gasped when Puig flipped over the low wall along the right field side chasing a foul ball by Pence in the seventh. Puig went all the way around and crashed into the seats. He got up quickly and returned to his position in right, apparently unhurt.
Dodgers: LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (elbow) and RHP Brandon McCarthy (hip stiffness) will pitch in a simulated game Tuesday. … LHP Alex Wood (elbow surgery) will be activated Tuesday. The team wanted an extra day to finalize the corresponding roster move. … Manager Dave Roberts said LHP Scott Kazmir (neck inflammation) shouldn't be affected by a finger blister that he developed Sunday in a simulated game. … LHP Julio Urias will pitch out of the bullpen during the Giants series. … The team hasn't decided when LHP Brett Anderson (finger blister, back surgery) will return.
Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto (16-5, 2.86 ERA) has a 1.69 ERA in his last three starts against the Dodgers.
Dodgers: LHP Rich Hill (12-4, 2.06 overall after trade from Oakland) is 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA in six career starts against the Giants, limiting their hitters to a .219 batting average and striking out 31 against nine walks in 40 innings.