SHAFAQNA – The San Francisco Giants are on the verge of reaching the postseason.
They can do so with a win over the rival Dodgers in the series finale Wednesday night or a Milwaukee loss at Cincinnati.
But the Giants will have to get by Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw, who is 2-0 against them in three starts this season. They’ll send Tim Hudson, bothered by a hip injury, to the mound.
San Francisco came up short in a 4-2 loss Tuesday night that got testy in the first inning after Madison Bumgarner hit Dodgers star Yasiel Puig in the foot with a pitch.
Bumgarner’s two-run homer later tied the game 2-all, but he got little offensive support from his teammates.
“It’s a shame we couldn’t find a way to get another run or two for him,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “But we faced a good pitcher that was throwing the ball well. We didn’t have a lot of chances.”
Zack Greinke (16-8) extended his mastery of the Giants, improving to 5-0 against them this season. He is unbeaten in seven career starts against San Francisco.
The right-hander allowed two runs and six hits in eight innings, striking out five and walking none. He retired 17 of his final 19 batters.
“He’s been lights-out against us every time,” Bumgarner said. “He makes pitches and he’s got really good stuff. That’s why he’s one of best pitchers in the game.”
Justin Turner homered twice and Matt Kemp had a two-run shot in the first inning to help the Dodgers stretch their division lead to 4 1/2 games. They can clinch their second straight NL West title with a win Wednesday night.
The Giants lost for the seventh time in 10 games.
Bumgarner (18-10) had been dominant at Dodger Stadium with a 7-2 career mark coming in, but he was stymied in pursuit of his fourth straight win there. He gave up four runs and six hits in 7 1-3 innings, striking out five and walking none.
“They were terrible, all of them,” Bumgarner said about his three home run pitches. “They were missed location. I wasn’t fortunate enough to get away with anything, at least not those, anyway.”
Turner homered into the left-field pavilion in the eighth for the second time in the game, chasing Bumgarner.
After the tension subsided in the first, Puig took first base and Kemp celebrated his 30th birthday by hitting his 24th homer, extending the Dodgers’ lead to 3-0. Turner got things started with his first career leadoff shot in the first.
Bumgarner pulled the Giants to 3-2 with his own two-run homer in the third. The pitcher pumped his right arm and yelled as he rounded first base.
After getting hit, Puig quickly tailed plate umpire Adrian Johnson toward the mound, yelling at Bumgarner. The pitcher chucked his glove behind him and gestured with both hands as if to say, “Bring it on.”
Johnson pushed Puig away, and Kemp got in front of Puig before Dodgers manager Don Mattingly restrained his emotional star.
Puig also was plunked by Jake Peavy in the first inning on Monday night, when the Giants won 5-2 in 13 innings.
Bumgarner’s four homers this season are the most by a Giants pitcher since Hal Schumacher hit six in 1934, and his 15 RBIs tied the club record for a pitcher set by Juan Marichal in 1966.
Giants: OF Angel Pagan (inflamed nerve in lower back) will have season-ending surgery to repair a bulging disk in his back Thursday in Los Angeles. “This is a bad-luck situation because if the bulge moves a little bit more to the other side then I’ll be playing, no problem,” he said. … OF Michael Morse has shown some improvement with a strained oblique and might be ready for the upcoming San Diego series.
Dodgers: LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder inflammation) is playing catch while slowly increasing distance and velocity. Mattingly said he’d be surprised if Ryu returns before the playoffs.
Giants: Hudson (9-12, 3.52 ERA) has lost his last four outings and has just one win in his last 11 starts as part of the first losing season in his 18-year pro career.
Dodgers: Kershaw (20-3, 1.80) is tied for the major league lead in victories and his ERA is the lowest in the majors. The left-hander is 9-2 in 13 home starts with a 1.75 ERA. He owns four shutouts against the Giants.
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