Giants hand Dodgers another one-run defeat

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giants-hand-dodgers-another-one-run-defeat

  • Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws to the plate during the first inning of Friday’s game against the Giants in San Francisco. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

  • San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz delivers against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

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  • Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw delivers to a San Francisco Giants batter during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, right, reacts to a hit by Max Muncy during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Cody Bellinger leaps to catch a fly ball by San Francisco Giants’ Aramis Garcia during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

  • SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 07: Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a single against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning at Oracle Park on June 7, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

  • San Francisco Giants’ Kevin Pillar hits an RBI single off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw during the sixth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

  • SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 07: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning at Oracle Park on June 7, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Chris Taylor trips over the bullpen pitcher’s mound while chasing a foul ball by San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Belt during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. Belt eventually walked and scored. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Chris Taylor chases down an RBI single by San Francisco Giants’ Kevin Pillar during the sixth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw heads to the dugout after striking out during the fifth inning of the team’s baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

  • San Francisco Giants pitcher Reyes Moronta delivers against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the sixth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger (35) reacts after being called out on strikes to end the top of the sixth inning of the team’s baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

  • San Francisco Giants center fielder Steven Duggar runs down a deep fly ball by Los Angeles Dodgers pinch-hitter Kyle Garrick during the ninth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. The Giants defeated the Dodgers 2-1. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Dylan Floro delivers against the San Francisco Giants during the eighth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. The Giants defeated the Dodgers 2-1. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

  • San Francisco Giants pitcher Will Smith delivers to a Los Angeles Dodgers batter during the ninth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. Smith picked up the save as the Giants defeated the Dodgers 2-1. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor (3) gets a congratulatory handshake from teammate Max Muncy after hitting a solo home run against the San Francisco Giants during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. The Giants defeated the Dodgers 2-1. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

  • SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 07: Chris Taylor #3 of the Los Angeles Dodgers is congratulated by Max Muncy #13 after hitting a home run against the San Francisco Giants during the eighth inning at Oracle Park on June 7, 2019 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Giants defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

  • SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 07: Max Muncy #13 of the Los Angeles Dodgers dives for but is unable to field a ground ball hit for a single by Brandon Crawford (not pictured) of the San Francisco Giants during the fifth inning at Oracle Park on June 7, 2019 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Giants defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

  • SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 07: Kevin Pillar #1 of the San Francisco Giants hits an RBI single against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the sixth inning at Oracle Park on June 7, 2019 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Giants defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

  • SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 07: Brandon Belt #9 of the San Francisco Giants slides into home plate to score a run against the Los Angeles Dodgersduring the sixth inning at Oracle Park on June 7, 2019 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Giants defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes (15) dives too late to tag out San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Belt, who scored from second on a single by Kevin Pillar during the sixth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

  • SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 07: Brandon Belt #9 of the San Francisco Giants slides past a tag from Austin Barnes #15 of the Los Angeles Dodgers to score a run during the sixth inning at Oracle Park on June 7, 2019 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Giants defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Max Muncy (13) throws over San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Crawford to complete a double play during the sixth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. Aramis Garcia was out at first base. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

  • SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 07: Evan Longoria #10 of the San Francisco Giants slides under a tag from Austin Barnes #15 of the Los Angeles Dodgers to score a run during the sixth inning at Oracle Park on June 7, 2019 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Giants defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

  • SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 07: Tony Watson #56 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the eighth inning at Oracle Park on June 7, 2019 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Giants defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

  • San Francisco Giants pitcher Will Smith (13) reacts to getting the final out against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a baseball game Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. The Giants defeated the Dodgers 2-1. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

  • SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 07: Kevin Pillar #1 of the San Francisco Giants celebrates with Will Smith #13 after the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Oracle Park on June 7, 2019 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Giants defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

  • San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy, second from right, congratulates his players on their 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in a baseball game Friday, June 7, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

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SAN FRANCISCO — Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.

Even as the San Francisco Giants have slid to the bottom of the National League West and the Dodgers continued collecting division titles, the two ancient rivals have remained very close. Fifty of the 83 matchups between the Dodgers and Giants since the start of the 2015 season have been decided by two runs or fewer.

Friday night’s tussle was the 35th of those decided by just one run as the Giants handed the Dodgers a 2-1 defeat. Four of the seven meetings this season have been one-run decisions – three in the favor of the Giants who are an MLB-best 14-5 in such games despite having a better record than only one National League team (the hapless Miami Marlins).

Meanwhile, the NL leaders in runs scored have done that just three times in their past 20 innings. As a result, the Dodgers lost back-to-back games for the first time since April 23-24 in Chicago. Between the two “losing streaks,” they went 29-8.

“Great team,” Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw said of the six-week stretch between consecutive losses. “We’re a great team. We know that. A little bump in the road here.”

It was a pretty big bump actually.

With the count 0-and-2 and the game scoreless, Brandon Belt lofted a pop-up down the left-field line in the bottom of the sixth inning. Left fielder Chris Taylor gave chase and might have had a chance to make a play in foul territory – until he tripped over the Giants’ bullpen mound and went sprawling.

“Yeah, I would have caught it,” Taylor said. “Trying to watch the ball and be aware of it (the bullpen mound) with your peripherals is easier said than done, I guess.

“I don’t know if maybe the better approach is to look down and take your eye off the ball. I was trying to kind of high-step, but it’s a pretty steep back edge so you don’t really know when it’s coming full speed.”

Oracle Park is one of the few major-league ballparks that have the old-style bullpens in foul territory rather than beyond the outfield walls.

“I’m glad CT’s okay,” Kershaw said before taking a playoff jab at the Giants’ first-year president of baseball operations. “Let’s go, Farhan (Zaidi), clean it up over here. It’s a relatively new ballpark. So they should have thought about it. But I’m sure Farhan will make a change here soon.

“He (Taylor) was right there. CT is a great runner, good instincts and got there quickly. Nothing else to say. Both teams have to deal with it. It just sucks.”

Given new life, Belt worked a leadoff walk – Kershaw’s only walk of the night. Two singles later, Belt scored from second base, beating Taylor’s wide throw home.

“It absolutely changes that inning (if Taylor gets to Belt’s pop-up),” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

A wild pitch moved the runners up and brought the infield in. Brandon Crawford hit a ground ball right at second baseman Max Muncy (who made two outstanding defensive plays earlier in the game). But Muncy’s throw home was late and Evan Longoria scored the second run of the inning.

“I think Longoria had a really good jump on that ball,” Roberts said. “It was one of those things where it was hit good but a little bit off the end of the bat so it seemed like it was going to come harder than it did. It wasn’t the cleanest of exchanges but the credit goes to Longo there and Max did the best he could.”

The Dodgers did the least they could after loading the bases with one out in the first inning against Giants starter Drew Pomeranz. The left-hander struck out David Freese and Corey Seager and retired 14 of the next 15 Dodgers batters, striking out seven in five innings.

“I just thought his stuff was pretty good,” Taylor said. “He had kind of a sneaky fastball and that big breaker and he had both of those pitches working tonight.”

The Dodgers didn’t get on the board until a solo home run by Taylor off Giants reliever Tony Watson in the eighth inning ended a 15-inning scoreless streak for the Dodgers. But Giants closer – and attractive trade chip – Will Smith retired the Dodgers in order in the ninth.

While one streak started, another ended. The loss was the first for the Dodgers in a regular-season game started by Clayton Kershaw since last Aug. 13, also against the Giants, ending a streak of 17 consecutive wins. Kershaw hadn’t been charged with a loss since last July 21.

“Yeah, I was (aware of the streak),” Kershaw acknowledged. “Just another sign of a great team. For a streak like that to happen, you’ve got to be on great teams because there are going to be days when you pitch bad and get a win or a no-decision. Sometimes nights like these happen. It’s just part of being on a great team.”