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Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers edge Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants

By
Forrest Lee, The Sports Xchange
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

LOS ANGELES -- In a showdown between two of baseball's top pitchers, Zack Greinke and the Los Angeles Dodgers prevailed over Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants.

Center fielder Joc Pederson homered and Greinke delivered another solid outing, leading the Dodgers to a 2-1 victory over the Giants at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night.

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Greinke (15-3) allowed a run on five hits with five strikeouts and a walk in 7 1/3 innings. He beat San Francisco for a seventh consecutive start.

"Today, I was throwing the ball where I wanted," said Greinke, who has captured 10 of his past 11 decisions and lowered his major-league-leading ERA to 1.59. "I've been pretty consistent. I think it was really a good game all the way around, every part of it. They were putting pretty good at-bats against me, but I was pitching pretty good. Madison was pitching pretty good. Our defense was good; their defense seemed pretty good to me. Just a really good game."

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Giants manager Bruce Bochy agreed with the good game part, but he said a called third strike by plate umpire Mike Winters on left fielder Alejandro De Aza with runners in scoring position in the seventh inning altered the outcome.

"We had chances there at the end," said Bochy, who was ejected before the bottom of the seventh for arguing with Winters. "The double play (in the eighth inning) didn't help matters out. But the call, that's what's frustrating. Really the worst call at the worst time."

Giants first baseman Brandon Belt led off the seventh with a single, ending a string of 13 straight batters retired by Greinke. Catcher Buster Posey drew a walk, but Greinke induced right fielder Marlon Byrd to ground out to third on a close play that was reviewed and upheld.

With runners at second and third, Greinke followed by striking out De Aza looking before forcing second baseman Kelby Tomlinson to line out to right to end the inning.

"You hate to see it, but that changed everything," Bochy said of the disputed third strike.

Closer Kenley Jansen worked a perfect ninth for his 28th save in 30 chances as the National League West-leading Dodgers (74-57) increased their lead to 5 1/2 games over the second-place Giants (69-63). Los Angeles took the series opener 5-4 in 14 innings Monday.

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Greinke limited the Giants to one hit over six innings before Belt's hit.

"Zack was pretty amazing," Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. "Very methodical throughout the game. I could tell he was thinking his way through it. We had a good game plan going through it, and Zack's different from everybody else with his consistency and executing a game plan.

"It was two of the top five pitchers in baseball going at each other. It was great to see."

Second baseman Jose Peraza scored on an RBI single by first baseman Adrian Gonzalez for a 1-0 Los Angeles lead with two outs in the third.

Pederson drilled a 3-2 Bumgarner fastball into the seats in right-center to open the seventh for a solo shot and a 2-0 advantage. It was Pederson's 24th home run and his first since Aug. 16, when he smacked one against the Cincinnati Reds.

Bumgarner (16-7) struck out eight but gave up two runs on eight hits with a walk in seven innings. Bumgarner had his five-game winning streak snapped.

"Bum, he just made a mistake for that second run there, but he threw well," Bochy said, referring to Pederson's home run.

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The Giants got on the board in the eighth. Pinch hitter Gregor Blanco and center fielder Angel Pagan hit consecutive singles before third baseman Matt Duffy added another one, scoring Blanco to slice the margin to 2-1 with one out. That spelled the end for Greinke.

However, reliever Luis Avilan got Belt to hit into an inning-ending double play to preserve the lead.

"Both games (in the series) have been good baseball, hard-fought games," Bochy saud. "You hate to lose (by) one run, but it's just two good teams going at it."

NOTES: The Dodgers selected the contract of OF Justin Ruggiano from Triple-A Oklahoma City. The club called up RHP Mike Bolsinger, LHP Ian Thomas and RHP Joe Wieland from Oklahoma City. RHP Joel Peralta was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list, while RHP Josh Ravin was recalled from OKC and moved to the 60-day disabled list. ... The Giants activated OF Angel Pagan and RHP Tim Hudson from the DL. San Francisco selected the contract of INF Nick Noonan from Triple-A Sacramento, and called up RHP Cody Hall and C Hector Sanchez from the River Cats. OF Justin Maxwell was designated for assignment. ... Dodgers RHP Zack Greinke and Giants LHP Madison Bumgarner both batted eighth. ... Giants RHP Mike Leake (9-6, 3.53 ERA) will face Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw (11-6, 2.24) in the series finale Wednesday night. ... The game drew a crowd of 48,060.

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