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Friday, May 9, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Giants 3, Dodgers 1

By Mark Saxon


LOS ANGELES – The focus of the Dodgers' hostility returned to its usual resting place.

A year after sparring with the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks, the Dodgers ramped up their bad blood with the rival San Francisco Giants in a 3-1 loss at Dodger Stadium on Friday night. San Francisco ace Madison Bumgarner and catcher Buster Posey both had words for Yasiel Puig as he crossed home plate following his long sixth-inning home run.

Puig had taken his time leaving the box, but it was nothing he hadn’t done every other time he has homered. Puig took a step toward Bumgarner before plate umpire Will Little got in the middle of things. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was ejected for arguing with Little in the aftermath.

Yelling is one thing. The Dodgers’ bigger problem is an inability to beat San Francisco. They are 2-6 against the first-place Giants thus far this season.

How it happened: Bumgarner dominated the Dodgers, giving up only four hits over eight innings and striking out eight batters. Paul Maholm pitched well for the Dodgers, but Brandon Crawford hit a two-run home run in the fifth and that was all Bumgarner and the Giants’ rejuvenated bullpen needed.

Hits: The Dodgers have scored two runs in their past 27 innings, but you can’t lay it at Puig’s feet. Even after having to sit a couple of games after slamming into a wall in Miami, he has stayed hot. Puig is batting .405 with five runs scored during this nine-game hitting streak.

Misses: Aside from Puig, the Dodgers’ biggest bats have come up small in May. Hanley Ramirez is batting .205 this month and Adrian Gonzalez is hitting .114 with just two RBIs. You don’t really need to go much deeper than that to figure out what’s going wrong.

Stat of the game: The Dodgers have scored either one or two runs in five consecutive games against the Giants.

Up next: The Dodgers need to win the next two games or they will have dropped the first three series of 2014 to their rivals. They have the right guys on the mound to get it done: Zack Greinke (5-1, 2.35 ERA) and Clayton Kershaw (2-0, 0.66). Matt Cain (0-3, 4.35) will come off the disabled list to pitch for the Giants on Saturday. The game starts at 1:10 p.m.