LOS ANGELES (AP) — Yasiel Puig was back in the lineup for the Dodgers, leading off and getting picked off, and like most of the Dodgers not doing nearly enough to beat Madison Bumgarner.
Puig went 1 for 4 and got caught off first to end an inning the day after he was benched for being late to the stadium for the Dodgers’ home-opener. Los Angeles scratched out eight hits Saturday during Bumgarner’s 6 1-3 innings and lost 7-2.
“Madison’s been tough on us. We’ve had trouble figuring out that puzzle with him,” Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly said. “It seemed like we had more chances this time, so hopefully we’re getting closer. But obviously, we’ve got to do a better job of putting some runs on the board.”
Puig had an infield single in three at-bats against Bumgarner. Bumgarner caught Puig taking too big a lead at first base in the third inning and picked him off for the third out with cleanup-hitter Adrian Gonzalez at the plate.
MLB.com reported Puig jammed his left thumb sliding into first on the infield single and had X-rays taken.
“I felt OK to play nine innings, that’s what I wanted to do,” Puig told MLB.com. “I got treatment today and we’ll see the results and how I feel and they’ll check to see if I can play (Sunday).”
Puig came up in the seventh with the bases loaded and one out after Santiago Casilla replaced Bumgarner. But his flyball to right field was too shallow to score Scott Van Slyke.
The Dodgers’ runs came on Juan Uribe’s RBI double in the second inning and an RBI single in the seventh by Andre Ethier, who didn’t start against Bumgarner but was inserted as a pinch-hitter against Casilla.
A.J. Ellis tried to score behind Van Slyke on Ethier’s hit, but was thrown out by right fielder Hunter Pence to end the inning. Mattingly came out to discuss the call with umpire Joe West and used his one challenge for a video replay ruling, which upheld the original call.
“We had a lot of guys out there and left them on base,” Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez said.
Paul Maholm (0-1) gave up five runs and seven hits through 4 1-3 innings in his first start for the Dodgers, who signed him as a free agent to a one-year, $1.5 million contract in February after he went 10-11 with a 4.41 ERA in 26 starts last year with Atlanta.
“They’re a pretty tough matchup for him because they’re a veteran club. So they understand what you’re trying to do and they’re going to make you throw strikes,” Mattingly said. “Paul needs to be able to pitch on the edges, change speeds, kind of go up and down. He was really pitching pretty well until the pitch to Pablo.”
Michael Morse homered for the Giants and Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey went back-to-back against Maholm.
“I didn’t make a good pitch to Pablo,” Maholm said. “It was a cutter that didn’t cut and those end up where that one did. He’s a good hitter, and he barreled it and hit a home run. Maybe I should have gone sinker down and away to get the double play, but you can always second-guess after the fact.”
Bumgarner (1-0) was charged with two runs and struck out 10 in his second start. He is 4-1 with a 1.53 ERA in his last five starts at Dodger Stadium.
“He was commanding both sides of the plate and locating,” Gonzalez said. “He’s just like anybody else. If he can command down and away, down and in, up and away and up and in, and crisscross the strike zone, it makes it tough.”
NOTES: Angel Pagan worked out an eight-pitch walk to open the game and was erased on a double-play grounder by Pence, who was robbed of a hit up the middle by shortstop Hanley Ramirez. Maholm has induced a major league-high 185 ground-ball DPs since the start of the 2006 season. … Maholm had allowed only three homers in 62 innings during his 10 previous career starts against the Giants, all of them solo shots by Sandoval, Rich Aurilia and Ray Durham. … Maholm’s official Dodgers debut was March 23 against the Diamondbacks in Australia, when he pitched in relief for only second time in 244 big league appearances to that point. He is 0-3 with a 5.64 ERA in four career starts at Dodger Stadium, the others coming with Pittsburgh and Atlanta. … The only pitchers last season with a lower opponents’ batting average than Bumgarner’s .205 mark were Dodgers teammates Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, and Pittsburgh’s Jeff Locke.