SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Madison Bumgarner acknowledged that hitting a home run off Clayton Kershaw was a little out of the ordinary. Outpitching the reigning NL MVP and Cy Young winner, though, has become almost commonplace.
Bumgarner homered, pitched 6 1-3 solid innings and helped the San Francisco Giants shut out the Los Angeles Dodgers for the third straight day, 4-0 Thursday.
“He’s the best pitcher in baseball,” Bumgarner said. “To be able to do that is pretty special.”
Bumgarner and Buster Posey are the only Giants who have homered against Kershaw.
“It was a fastball right down the middle,” Kershaw said. “I should have respected him a little more.”
San Francisco outscored the Dodgers 10-0 in sweeping the three-game series. The champion Giants have won six in a row overall.
“You don’t think you’ll come here and not score a run for three games,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “I actually thought we had some good at-bats.”
This was the third time this season that Bumgarner, the current World Series MVP, had started against Kershaw — the Giants have won all three.
Bumgarner (5-2) worked around seven hits and two walks, striking out six. He improved to 9-3 in his last 13 starts against the Dodgers.
Bumgarner became the first pitcher to homer off Kershaw (2-3). The Giants’ star connected for his seventh career home run, hitting a solo shot into the left field bleachers in the third.
Last year, Bumgarner hit four home runs, including two grand slams. He had managed just one single in 17 at-bats this year going into the game.
The Dodgers haven’t scored in 31 innings. The last time they were blanked in three straight games was June 2012 by San Francisco.
The Giants have won all six games between the teams at AT&T Park this year, matching their longest home winning streak against Los Angeles in 41 years.
Kershaw allowed four runs on seven hits and two walks in 7 1/3 innings. He has a 4.32 ERA this year.
Kershaw lost for the third time in 13 starts in San Francisco. He entered the game with a career 0.97 ERA at the Giants’ park.
Hunter Pence had two hits and drove in two runs. Noki Aoki added two hits.
Angel Pagan slid home on Pence’s single in the fourth. The play was reviewed and stood as called.
Buster Posey singled in the eighth to extend his hitting streak to 13 games and end Kershaw’s day.
Pence and Brandon Crawford drove in runs in the eighth.
The Dodgers had runners in scoring position in four of the first five innings but went 0 for 7 in those situations. Opponents have two hits in their last 34 at bats (.059) with runners in scoring position against Bumgarner.
Dodgers: LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu underwent surgery on his left shoulder and will not pitch the rest of the season. Manager Don Mattingly said the surgery “went as well as could be expected.” He also expects Ryu to be ready to pitch again by spring training.
Giants: RHP Jake Peavy (back tightness) will begin his rehab assignment with a start for Class A San Jose on Friday. He’s scheduled for a second start in Triple-A Sacramento on Wednesday. “It’s good to get his rehab going,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “He feels good and he’s got his strength back.” . RHP Matt Cain (flexor strain) threw breaking balls on flat ground. His next step will be to throw a bullpen session.
Dodgers: RHP Zack Greinke (5-1, 1.52) will start Friday against the San Diego Padres. Greinke is coming off his first loss but the Padres are a perfect foil for him. He’s 5-0 with a 1.58 ERA in nine career starts against them. He’s allowed one earned run in 13 innings against the Padres this year.
Giants: RHP Ryan Vogelsong (2-2, 5.31) starts against the Rockies in Colorado on Friday night. He’s 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA over his last three starts but has struggled against the Rockies, losing his last three starts at Coors Field posting a 13.50 ERA.