Chad Gaudin matched Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw for seven innings, but Kershaw got the final laugh when A.J. Ellis’ three-run double in the ninth inning secured his eighth win of the season.
Brandon Belt had the day off Sunday, so Buster Posey was at first base. The MVP was tested in the ninth.
Yasiel Puig led off the ninth with a single, and his bat flip following the hit didn’t go unnoticed either. Adrian Gonzalez followed with a sharp single that kicked off Posey, who picked up the ball after the deflection. His toss, though, was wide to second base, and there was no backup. Pablo Sandoval left third base vacant as he raced to pick up the ball, but Puig, alertly took the vacant base before Sandoval could catch him.
With runners on second and third, none out, Hanley Ramirez squibbed a ball to Sergio Romo, who threw to first. No runs scored, and Romo proceeded to intentionally walk Andre Ethier. Ellis delivered the knockout punch, lining a three-run double into the left center field gap, where all Torres could do was chase it down. Puig, Ramirez and Ethier all scored, and Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth.
Despite the loss, Gaudin pitched seven innings, allowed just one run and struck out a season-high nine batters on just one free pass. The last time he struck out nine or more batters in a game came against the Texas Rangers in 2009.
Kershaw, meanwhile, pitched innings of one-run ball. He scattered just three hits, struck out three and walked on.
Guillermo Quiroz’s lead off double in the third inning off Kershaw eventually allowed Andres Torres to plate him with a sacrifice fly. Chad Gaudin, attempting to bunt Quiroz over with no outs, failed, but Quiroz advanced to third base on Kershaw’s wild off-speed pitch that reached the backstop.
Torres’ sacrifice fly tied the game at 1-1. Hanley Ramirez’s second-inning triple was flipped into the Dodgers’ first run the prior inning.
Sandy Rosario, Javier Lopez and Jake Dunning combined to pitch 1.1 scoreless innings.