SAN FRANCISCO -- The Los Angeles Dodgers did what they set out to do. They proved they can beat the San Francisco Giants head to head and they reclaimed first place. Not a bad weekend by the Bay, a three-game sweep at AT&T Park that ended with Sunday night's tense 4-3 win.
The Dodgers now lead the NL West by a 1½ games, a crucial cushion with the team still in the midst of its most challenging stretch of schedule this season.
How it happened: Jake Peavy pitched well a day after getting traded to San Francisco from the Boston Red Sox, but Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched a little bit better and the Dodgers used some speed and craftiness to beat Peavy. They scored three runs in the fifth inning, with Carl Crawford's triple down the right-field line the key blow. Ryu pitched six strong innings, giving up three runs and six hits and striking out seven batters.
The Dodgers' bullpen, much-maligned, had the right pitchers lined up after getting most of the week off. J.P. Howell, Brian Wilson -- who entered the game to heavy booing at his former home stadium -- and Kenley Jansen sewed up the final three innings without much incident. Jansen struck out the side in the ninth.
Hits: Dee Gordon got on base three times, none of them via the traditional walk or hit. He reached on Dan Uggla's error, got hit in the foot by a breaking ball and reached on a strikeout and wild pitch. Those were largely the product of luck, but what Gordon did with one of the chances was all about opportunism and speed. When another ball got away from Buster Posey and he threw to first to get Adrian Gonzalez, Gordon sprinted for home and slid in safely, scoring on the fielder's choice. It was a bold gambit and it sparked the Dodgers' rally.
Misses: The only impetus for trading Matt Kemp at the moment is to free up whatever money the Dodgers could and to alleviate whatever rift exists between him and the coaching staff. The outfield situation is as good as it has been all season. Kemp has looked comfortable playing right field, his original position, and he has been productive at the plate. In his past 16 games, he is batting .370. He's now batting .277 on the season with an above-average .775 OPS.
Stat of the game: The Giants scored three runs while Peavy was in the game. In his past eight starts in Boston, he got no more than two runs of support.
Up next: The Dodgers are off Monday before beginning a three-game series with the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night.