LOS ANGELES (AP) — Yasiel Puig’s reaction to his home run off Madison Bumgarner, and the left-hander’s response to Puig’s ensuing celebration, was the subject of discussion in both clubhouses after another typical Giants-Dodgers game that produced plenty to talk about.
Puig’s fifth homer of the season was the only offense Los Angeles could muster in Paul Maholm’s 3-1 loss to NL West-leading San Francisco. It was the 12th time in the last 15 meetings between the teams that the Dodgers have scored fewer than four runs.
The Giants were leading 3-0 when Puig homered to center in the sixth, after taking a called third strike his previous time up and stranding Justin Turner at third base. As soon as Puig made contact, he flipped the bat away, walked a few feet toward first base and began a slow trot around the bases.
“Honestly, I think Puig overreacted a little bit. I don’t know,” teammate Scott Van Slyke said. “He felt like he had an unfair pitch thrown to him the previous time up, and then he acted like he got him back. But Puig’s an emotional guy. Some people just have that fire in them when they play, and it comes out sometimes. I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s wrong or right. It’s just that there’s lots of different personalities in the world, and you’ve just got to learn to deal with them.”
Bumgarner walked toward the third base line and had a few choice words for Puig as he approached home plate. But the hostilities ended there with some quick action by plate umpire Will Little, who intercepted Bumgarner.
“It always surprises me when guys react to things – when their team does the same-type stuff,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “The double standard for me is always amazing. I’m not quite sure what he’s upset about. Yasiel hit it, he flipped it and he ran. I’m not quite sure what he’s upset about, honestly. You can’t be mad at one guy when your team does the same-type stuff. Obviously, Yasiel’s a little bit of a lightning rod.”
Bumgarner chose to stay above the fray after the game.
“I was just congratulating him,” the pitcher said, tongue in cheek. “That was a really good swing. That was pretty impressive. I don’t know why everybody got so mad. It escalated quickly for no reason.
“I think he said, `Thank you.’ I’m not sure if he did. I don’t speak Spanish very well. But it’s always a passionate series when you play the Dodgers, and it’s fun. No matter what the records are, either team could be 30 games out and it’s still going to be a big series just because it’s the Giants and Dodgers.”
Hanley Ramirez was the next batter and took a 1-1 pitch for a strike that had Mattingly chirping from the dugout. Little ejected Mattingly, who came running out to argue some more.
“I didn’t like the zone. I didn’t like it all night,” Mattingly said. “I felt like he called a number of balls up for strikes, and I was a little upset with it. I didn’t like the call to Yasiel early, and Hanley’s ball was up. I just got tired of watching that.”
Maholm (1-3) gave up three runs, three hits and four walks in 5 2-3 innings. The left-hander is 0-4 with a 6.66 ERA in his last five starts against the Giants.
Maholm matched zeros with Bumgarner until the fifth, when Brandon Hicks walked with one out and Brandon Crawford drove the next pitch into the right-field pavilion for his first home run in 117 career at-bats against the Dodgers to that point.
Bumgarner (4-3) allowed a run and four hits with eight strikeouts en route to his second straight victory after three consecutive losses – two of them by 2-1 scores against the Dodgers and Colorado. He is 5-1 with a 1.45 ERA in his last six starts at Dodger Stadium, and hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any of them.
Dodgers reliever Brandon League escaped a bases-loaded, none-out jam in the seventh when he fielded Hunter Pence’s comebacker to start a 1-2-3 double play and then retired Buster Posey on a fly to right. But the Dodgers’ offense couldn’t feed off that momentum swing, and Sergio Romo pitched a perfect ninth for his 12th save in as many attempts.
The Giants’ 12th victory in 15 games was overshadowed by the broken left thumb first baseman Brandon Belt sustained when he was hit by Maholm’s first pitch of the second inning. Belt, who leads the club with nine homers, is expected to miss at least six weeks, according to manager Bruce Bochy.
“I was trying to throw a sinker down and away,” Maholm said. “I missed by about 2 feet. It’s not like I mind throwing inside, or missing inside, but you don’t ever want to see a guy get hurt. You don’t ever want to see those things happen. It was unintentional. Unfortunately, that’s probably one of the worst spots a hitter can get hit.”
NOTES: Mattingly’s ejection was his 13th as a manager and first this season. … Puig extended his hitting streak to nine games, matching his longest as a rookie last season. … Turner started at third base because of Juan Uribe’s sore right hamstring.