SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Joe Panik hit a game-ending sacrifice fly with the Dodgers in a five-man infield, and the San Francisco Giants edged Los Angeles 3-2 Wednesday night.
Reigning World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner and current NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw kept things close, dueling until it became a battle of the bullpens.
The champion Giants wound up posting back-to-back wins for only the second time this season.
A single by Brandon Belt loaded the bases with one out, and prompted Dodgers manager Don Mattingly to argue that Giants third base coach Roberto Kelly improperly made contact and stopped pinch-runner Gregor Blanco at the bag.
Panik then delivered a long fly off J.P. Howell that easily scored the winning run.
Santiago Casilla (1-0) pitched out of a jam with two runners on in the ninth.
Buster Posey hit a one-out single off Chris Hatcher (0-2) to set up the deciding run.
Hatcher then plunked Justin Maxwell. The ball came off Maxwell, then hit catcher A.J. Ellis’ mask and deflected off his right hand.
Trainer Stan Conte checked on Ellis, who tried to make two throws and tossed both wildly into right field. Yasmani Grandal replaced Ellis and Howell entered to pitch.
The Giants led 2-0 before pinch-hitter Alex Guerrero’s tying homer in the seventh chased Bumgarner.
Kershaw, who’s won the last two NL Cy Youngs and three overall, allowed two runs on three hits, struck out nine and walked one in six innings. Guerrero batted for him in the seventh and connected for his second pinch-hit homer of the season.
Bumgarner, winless in three starts since a victory on opening day at Arizona, gave up six hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked two.
It marked the first time the reigning regular season MVP opposed the last World Series MVP in a matchup of starting pitchers, according to STATS.
Dodgers: 1B Adrian Gonzalez got a break until a pinch hit in the ninth, then he stayed in the game. Mattingly said he is trying to get him 12-15 days off over the course of the season to keep him healthy and fresh.
Giants: 1B Travis Ishikawa, already on the disabled list, tweaked his tender back again. “He had a setback. He’s going to need some more time,” manager Bruce Bochy said. ... Maxwell didn’t need stitches in his cut left knee after crashing into the wall on a hard-hit ball by Yasiel Puig in foul territory.
Dodgers: RHP Mike Bolsinger makes his 2015 debut, 10th career start and first for the Dodgers since being acquired from the Diamondbacks in the offseason.
Giants: RHP Ryan Vogelsong (0-1, 10.45 ERA), a former Giants starter now in a relief role, takes the ball for his first start of 2015 seeking his first decision after allowing opponents to hit .400 with eight extra-base hits and 13 RBIs so far.