Seager makes Giants’ strategy backfire in Dodgers’ 7-2 win
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Corey Seager didn’t question the San Francisco Giants’ strategy of avoiding the National League’s most dangerous hitter. He just made sure it backfired.
Seager had three of his four hits and three of his four RBIs following intentional walks to Cody Bellinger, and the Los Angeles Dodgers went on to beat the Giants 7-2 on Saturday.
“The situation called for it,” he said. “What he’s been doing called for it. It’s a baseball move. It puts some guys on for you, which can be a big situation for you and lock you back in. It’s nice to have guys on and you understand the move.”
Seager singled in the first to load the bases after the Giants gave the first free pass to Bellinger, had an RBI single in the third after the second, and broke the game open with a two-run double in the eighth after the third intentional walk to make it 7-2. Seager also hit an RBI double as the Dodgers responded after losing consecutive games for the first time since April.
Bellinger came into the game leading the majors in hits, batting average and RBIs, and ranking second in homers. But Seager has been pretty dangerous himself after getting off to a slow start this year following a season-ending elbow injury in 2018. He is batting .369 with 19 RBIs and 13 extra-base hits the past 17 games.
“That’s a dangerous lineup and you have to kind of work your way around it,” Giants starter Jeff Samardzija said. “When you’ve got a lineup like that, all those guys know that they’re going to get pitches in the zone.”
Justin Turner added three hits, two RBIs and two runs scored and pinch-hitter Kyle Garlick started the go-ahead rally in the sixth with his first career hit.
Rich Hill (3-1) allowed two runs in five innings, escaping a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the fifth to preserve the tie. Hill got out of trouble by retiring Kevin Pillar on a foul popup and then getting Brandon Crawford to hit into an inning-ending double play.
“He just finds a way to make pitches when he needs to,” manager Dave Roberts said. “They grinded, they stressed him and got the pitch count up.”
Garlick then pinch-hit for Hill in the sixth and doubled off Samardzija (3-5) in his fifth career at-bat. Samardzija’s outing ended after he hit Joc Pederson with a pitch.
Reliever Derek Holland walked Max Muncy before Turner hit a sacrifice fly off Trevor Gott to make it 3-2.
The Dodgers added on in the eighth when Derek Rodriguez walked Muncy and Justin Turner with the bases loaded before Seager added his double off Mark Melancon.
Aramis Garcia hit a solo homer and Donovan Solano added an RBI single for the Giants, who finished 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 runners.
“We had traffic out there all day. All day,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “We just couldn’t find a way to get a run in. ... Somebody’s got to come through. That’s the difference in the game.”
Dodgers: Turner, who has been slowed by a sore hamstring, was in the lineup for the late afternoon start following a night game. Turner still isn’t completely healthy. He jogged for a double in the first inning on a drive to Triples Alley and then was held at third on a two-out single. The Dodgers failed to score when Alex Verdugo grounded out with the bases loaded.
Giants: C Buster Posey (right hamstring) was scheduled to hit before the game and is expected to come off the injured list when his stint is up Wednesday.
MOVE THE MOUNDS?
The Dodgers joined in the criticism of the bullpen mounds in foul territory in San Francisco after left fielder Chris Taylor tripped over the mound Friday night trying to catch Brandon Belt’s foul ball. The Giants have had players injured because of the mounds in the past and have talked about moving them out of play before next season. Oakland, Tampa Bay and San Francisco are the only stadiums with bullpen mounds in play.
“The fans like it, they enjoy being right there where they can see the pitcher warm up,” Bochy said before the game. “But I think it’s just a little tougher with this ballpark. It’s going to be a pretty good adjustment to find a place to move the bullpens, and that’s what they’re working on.”
Madison Bumgarner (3-5), winless in his last five starts against Los Angeles, starts the series finale for San Francisco against Walker Buehler (6-1). Bumgarner is 0-3 with a 2.70 ERA against the Dodgers since his last win vs. LA on Sept. 23, 2017.