The San Francisco Giants received their first taste of the Yasiel Puig hype on Monday night. And it was a bitter taste for a Giants team that has now lost four out of their last five games.
Puig drove in two runs on three hits, including his first career home run against the Giants.
Perhaps the more deflating blow for Bruce Bochy’s club was Puig’s line drive that put the Dodgers up 2-1 in the eighth inning. Or more specifically, the sequence of events that came before it.
Nick Punto singled to lead off the eighth inning against Madison Bumgarner. Bumgarner eclipsed the 100-pitch mark in the prior inning, but Bochy stuck with the southpaw.
Following Punto’s slash down the right field line was Mark Ellis. Ellis laid down a sacrifice bunt, but Bumgarner threw high to the leaping Marco Scutaro at first base. Ellis reached, and George Kontos was summoned. Puig watched Kontos’ first pitch float by for a ball. But he smacked Kontos’ second pitch past the diving Brandon Crawford to break the 1-1 tie.
The Dodgers expanded their lead on Hanley Ramirez’s RBI groundout. Crawford again came within inches of hauling in Ramirez’s line drive up the middle, but it snuck out of his glove, and Ellis scored on the deflection.
The Giants wasted Bumgarner’s solid outing, which included seven innings, one walk and five strikeouts.
Andres Torres responded to Puig’s solo home run with an RBI double in the top of the second inning.
San Francisco stranded 10 runners.
A bases-loaded opportunity arose in the third inning, when Gregor Blanco singled, Hunter Pence walked and Pablo Sandoval reached on a slow-rolling ground ball in no man’s land. However, Brandon Crawford, replacing Joaquin Arias who exited with a hamstring injury, weakly flew out to left field.
Crawford again proved to be a rally-killer in the fifth inning, when he erased a walk and two singles with an inning-ending double play.