SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Clayton Kershaw pitched NL-leading Los Angeles to its first win in nearly two weeks, helping the Dodgers snap the club’s worst skid since moving West at 11 games by beating the San Francisco Giants 5-3 on Tuesday night.
The Dodgers’ losing streak was their worst in 25 years, topping a pair of 10-gamers in L.A. from 1961 and ’92. The 1944 Brooklyn team lost 16 straight games.
Kershaw (17-3) took a share of the major league wins lead with Milwaukee’s Zach Davies.
Kenley Jansen recorded the final four outs for his 37th save but surrendered three straight singles with one out in the ninth to face a bases-loaded jam. He struck out Buster Posey and Nick Hundley to end it. Catcher Yasmani Grandal pumped his right fist and Jansen pounded his chest as the Dodgers hustled out of their dugout.
Justin Turner hit a key RBI double in the eighth and Chase Utley homered leading off the fourth, splashing into the water of McCovey Cove beyond the right-field wall for the first time in his career – the 41st ever by an opposing hitter.
Neither team took batting practice on the field after playing past 2 a.m. because of two delays for lightning and rain Monday.
Los Angeles, which won for just the second time in 18 games and first since topping San Diego on Sept. 1, holds a 4 1/2-game lead over Washington for best record in the National League after the Nationals lost 8-0 to Atlanta. The teams meet this weekend in D.C.
Kershaw followed Utley’s homer with a double and Corey Seager put the Dodgers ahead on a sacrifice fly. Yasiel Puig’s two-run double chased Johnny Cueto, who had intentionally walked Cody Bellinger to bring up Puig.
Kelby Tomlinson homered leading off the third against Kershaw, who struck out six over six innings, walked one, allowed eight hits and two runs.
He struck out pinch-hitter Tim Federowicz to end the sixth with the bases loaded after Orlando Calixte’s sacrifice fly. Kershaw is 21-9 with a 1.62 ERA in 40 career games and 39 starts against San Francisco and he improved to 7-1 in nine 2017 road starts.
Kershaw had a pitch count limit of 100 from manager Dave Roberts for the left-hander in his third start since coming off the disabled list with a lower back strain – and he was efficient, his day done instead after 91.
Cueto (7-8) struck out eight over 3 2/3 innings, allowing four runs and six hits with four walks in his third start since coming off the disabled list.
The Dodgers worked the right-hander’s pitch count in a hurry, with Cueto throwing 77 through three. But he struck out Grandal as Los Angeles left the bases loaded and stranded runners in scoring position in each of the first three innings.
Then, the Dodgers got going in the fourth.
Bellinger was intentionally walked three times in all, making him the first Dodgers player to do so since Jose Hernandez on June 4, 2004, against Arizona.
Dodgers: Los Angeles didn’t hold batting practice after the long game, so LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu threw a 48-pitch bullpen session rather than simulated game. He had his turn skipped this series to give him a break but will start Sunday’s series finale at Washington. … OF Andre Ethier, who returned Sept. 1 after sitting out all season with a herniated disc in his back, is scheduled to start Friday against the Nationals. Manager Dave Roberts wants to see how Ethier holds up in a full game, “keep him going and see what we have.”
Giants: Closer Mark Melancon, who joined the Giants in the offseason on a $62 million, four-year contract, had season-ending pronator surgery to solve his forearm injury. The rehab timeline is expected to be 6 to 8 weeks, having him recovered in plenty of time to be prepared for spring training. He went 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA and 11 saves in 32 appearances and 30 innings this season.
RHP Yu Darvish (8-12, 4.25 ERA) will face the Giants for the first time in his career for the series finale while pitching opposite LHP Matt Moore (5-13, 5.31), who is 1-2 with a 7.01 ERA over his past five starts vs. L.A.
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