- Mark Saxon, ESPNLosAngeles.com
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LOS ANGELES -- Yasiel Puig introduced himself to the best West Coast rivalry in sports.
The Los Angeles Dodgers' precocious outfielder was responsible for two runs, including the go-ahead run in the eighth inning of the Dodgers' 3-1 win over the San Francisco Giants Monday night, giving the Dodgers their first three-game winning streak since the opening week of the season.
The Dodgers managed to win a couple of games in San Diego over the weekend because they didn’t rely on Puig doing something extraordinary to rescue them. Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez had key home runs. On Monday, they were back to waiting to see what Puig could do for them.
And that proved to be plenty.
Puig homered in the first inning off Madison Bumgarner, but the Giants lefty tied the rest of the Dodgers’ lineup in knots. Puig’s blast was another impressive, low drive to right field.
The Dodgers hung in there until they finally got Bumgarner out of the game in the eighth inning. Nick Punto led off with a double and Mark Ellis bunted him to third. On the play, Bumgarner threw high to first, giving the Dodgers first-and-third with nobody out. In came reliever George Kontos, and Puig hit his second pitch into left field to drive in Punto for a 2-1 lead.
Hyun-Jin Ryu persevered rather than dominated, pitching around eight hits and four walks into the seventh inning. Things were coming unglued in the fifth after a couple of Giants hits gave them the bases loaded with one out. San Francisco would have taken the lead there, but Buster Posey stumbled rounding third and had to retreat to the base.
Ryu took advantage of the mistake by getting Brandon Crawford to hit a one-hopper back to the mound and completing the inning-ending double play.
Ryu would have made it out of the seventh inning if not for Puig misplaying Posey’s high drive off the right-field wall. Puig was camped under it, but whiffed on it as his back bumped into the scoreboard. It was originally ruled a two-base error, but later changed to a double.
The Dodgers were completely baffled by Bumgarner, as they often are. Through the first six innings, Puig was 2-for-3 with the home run and the rest of the team was 0-for-16 with five strikeouts.
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