SAN FRANCISCO â€” The Los Angeles Dodgers didnâ€™t shake hands Tuesday night. They hugged.
This was more than just another regular-season win.
Yasiel Puig capped a 4-run fourth inning with a 2-run double, and Clayton Kershaw combined with three relievers to protect a lead, allowing the Dodgers to snap an 11-game losing streak with a 5-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants.
Chase Utley homered into the San Francisco Bay, and Cody Bellinger reached base in five consecutive plate appearances, three times via intentional walks, as the Dodgers ended the longest skid in their West Coast history with their first win since Sept. 1.
â€śWe can exhale a little bit,â€ť Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said afterward. â€śYou see guys enjoying this win more than they usually do. Thatâ€™s a good thing.â€ť
The victory, coupled with Arizonaâ€™s 4-2 home loss to the Colorado Rockies, allowed the Dodgers (93-52) to extend their lead atop the National League West to 10 games over the Diamondbacks (83-62).
Kelby Tomlinson had a home run off Kershaw for the Giants, who still have a chance to win the 3-game series when the clubs face off one more time Wednesday night.
â€śYouâ€™re going against one of the (premier) pitchers in the game,â€ť Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. â€śYou have to play your best ball, and we didnâ€™t do that.â€ť
Kershaw (17-3) allowed eight hits and a walk in six innings, but he limited the Giants to two runs (one earned). Los Angeles held a 4-2 lead when he was pulled from the game.
â€śTonight wasnâ€™t easy. Nothing about this last weekâ€™s been easy,â€ť said Kershaw, who ran his career record against the Giants to 21-9. â€śI wasnâ€™t very good tonight. It was a full team effort. It had to be.â€ť
Kershaw struck out six, giving him 301 in 289 1/3 career innings against the Giants. The Dodgers are 21-3 in games started by their ace this season.
â€śThis needs to happen,â€ť Kershaw said. â€śEvery time we lost, it made it that much harder to win a game. We needed this one.â€ť
Right-handers Ross Stripling, Brandon Morrow and Kenley Jansen combined for three innings of six-hit, one-run relief, with Jansen surviving a rocky ninth inning for his 37th save.
Jansen allowed consecutive 1-out singles to Denard Span, Joe Panik and Hunter Pence in the ninth to load the bases. He then struck out Buster Posey on a full count and fanned Nick Hundley on three pitches to end it.
â€śA lot of good things happened â€” how we battled back, got within a run,â€ť Bochy said of his last-place club. â€śThey battled, competed â€¦ We just came up a little short.â€ť
The Giants (57-90) closed within 4-3 against Stripling in the seventh inning on a fielderâ€™s choice ground ball by Pence, scoring Span.
Stripling then got Posey to ground into a double play, ending the threat.