LOS ANGELES (AP) — A day of emotional momentum swings for the Los Angeles Dodgers ended with their closer matching his San Francisco Giants counterpart pitch for pitch – not what manager Don Mattingly had in mind this time.
Hanley Ramirez hit a two-run homer against Sergio Romo with two outs in the ninth inning, but Kenley Jansen was charged with three runs in the 10th and the Dodgers fell another game behind the NL West leaders with a 7-4 loss on Sunday.
Pablo Sandoval and Hector Sanchez had bases-loaded RBI singles in the 10th for the Giants, who beat the defending division champions for the seventh time in 10 meetings this season.
“You hate to say `matter of time’ just because we don’t have time. We need to play better,” Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw said.
Kershaw gave up a two-run homer to Brandon Hicks in the seventh inning after the Dodgers took a 2-1 lead in the sixth on a home run by Yasiel Puig and an RBI single by Adrian Gonzalez that ended a 2-for-33 slide.
“We have to play with that sense of urgency,” Kershaw added. “I think over the past few days it’s slowly gotten better. Today I feel like we really played good baseball. Everybody knows how to play the game the right way. It’s just a matter of doing it collectively as a team.”
Angel Pagan started the winning rally with leadoff walk and Hunter Pence singled against Jansen (0-2), who threw a wild pitch to Buster Posey before walking him intentionally to load the bases. Posey scored on J.P. Howell’s wild pitch after Sandoval and Sanchez came through with their timely hits.
Romo (3-0), trying to protect a 4-2 lead for Tim Hudson, struck out Puig after a one-out double by Dee Gordon in the ninth. Ramirez then lined his fifth homer to left field, handing Romo his first blown save this season in 13 chances.
Kershaw allowed three runs and seven hits in his third start of 2014 and first at home. The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner and three-time defending major league ERA champ struck out nine and walked none in his second outing since coming off the disabled list. He also had nine Ks and no walks last Tuesday at Washington, when he pitched seven scoreless innings in an 8-3 win.
Sandoval led off the seventh with a single and Hicks followed with his seventh homer, a drive to left field on an 0-2 curveball. Hicks also went deep Thursday against Josh Beckett in the Giants’ series-opening win.
“It’s frustrating,” Kershaw said. “The team played so well and we battled all day. Guy were making plays, getting big, clutch hits, moving guys over and playing the game the right way. So for me to give up that home run after just getting the lead right back is disappointing. I’ve got to shut the door right there.”
Hudson allowed two runs and eight hits over six innings, including a first-pitch homer by Puig that extended his career-best hitting streak to 11 games.
Puig flipped his bat after making contact. But unlike Friday night – when he did the same thing after homering against Madison Bumgarner before the lefty barked at him on his way to home plate – Hudson just stood on the mound with his back to the third base line and rubbed up another baseball.
“It is what it is. I mean, boys will be boys,” Hudson said. “He’s an emotional player and he hit the (stuffing) out of it. I probably would have flipped the bat, too.”
Sandoval, who began the day hitting .173, batted cleanup for the third time this season and was 3 for 5 with two RBIs. His other six RBIs this season came when he was batting third.
“He was pretty excited about where he was hitting today, and he asked me how much I had to drink last night,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “I know it’s been frustrating for him, but he’s been making better contact, and it just seems like he’s got some confidence going. More than anything, he’s got a little bit of a swagger right now, and he’s got to keep that. Hopefully this will be something he can build on.”
Sandoval’s run-scoring double in the first ended an RBI drought of 20 games and 68 at-bats for the switch-hitting third baseman since April 16 against the Dodgers. It was only the third hit with a runner in scoring position in a span of 27 at-bats for Sandoval, who clapped his hands as he went into second base standing up.
“When you get the RBI to get ahead in the first inning against a tough pitcher like that, you have to be happy,” Sandoval said. “I’m happy that we’re winning and that we’re in first place.”
Jean Machi got three outs for his first major league save. The Giants finished their road trip 7-3 and played errorless ball for the fifth straight game.
NOTES: Beginning with Monday night’s game against the Marlins, fans entering Dodger Stadium will be going through metal detectors at selected gates for a limited number of games the rest of the season. The new security measures, which Major League Baseball is implementing in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security, are expected to be in all big league ballparks by next year. … The Giants don’t return to Dodger Stadium until Sept. 22.