LOS ANGELES — There hasn’t been much of an explosion in the Giants-Dodgers saga over the past year. In fact, there was no loss of their 9-1 on Wednesday night.
Fourteen of their previous 25 meetings, including the first of the season on Tuesday, have been decided by two rounds or less. Neither of their fights last season had a margin of more than six rounds on either side.
But one missed dribbler and several home runs turned what was once a pitcher’s duel into a loss and cemented the Dodgers’ two-game sweep of the Giants in rivals NL West’s first showdown of the season.
After eliminating Mauricio Llovera, who replaced starter Alex Wood, left-hander Sam Long didn’t cover first base with a soft ground-hit from Gavin Lux, allowing the Dodgers to turn one seventh round into four and take the insurmountable. 7-1 lead. The Dodgers scored the last nine rounds of play, with Mookie Betts and Max Muncy scoring three more goals with homers in the sixth and eighth rounds, after Brandon Crawford gave the Giants a 1-0 lead with solo shots to take a second-half lead. .
The giants have lost three games in a row for the first time this season, falling to 14-10.
Wood rebounded well from his worst form of the season (5 IP, 5 ER vs. WSH), scoring seven strokes and allowing three on four for 5⅓ innings. He trailed 3-1, and the Giants bullpen exploded behind him.
With four more runs allowed on Wednesday, the Giants’ players have conceded more in the last five games (20) than they did during their first 19 games of the season (16). Their ERA has improved from MLB’s best 1.57 to 3.15, who will rank 10th going into Wednesday.
Long came in with an out and an on in the seventh round and went on to allow four of the five hitters he faced to reach base, including a triple-clearing base from Freddie Freeman to make it 7-1. Sac fly Betts scoring the second run of the inning will be a third out, if there is a man at first base on Lux’s dribbler.
Wood had Freeman swing his previous shot — his seventh and first past fifth round he’s recorded this season. Wood’s last four outs came via strikeouts, attacking the side in the fifth inning, although it looks like manager Gabe Kapler is ready to pull Wood out if he runs into trouble, with a long warm-up in the bullpen. But Wood was back out for the next inning, on 84 pitches, as the Dodgers reversed their line-up for the third time.
Betts, who took the lead, put the first throw in the sixth inning over the wall in midfield, filling the Dodgers’ lead before they opened it in the next inning.
Crawford, hitting a meager .215/.319/.304 through his first 22 games going into Wednesday night, hosted the second inning for Giants lone starter Tony Gonsolin.
Luis González, bunted for bases in Tuesday’s defeat, stole second base and made it to third after hitting one stroke to lead the third inning, but the Giants held him back 90 feet. Kevin Padlo, who leads in fifth with other singles, is the only other runner to reach a scoring position after González.
After Crawford’s home run, the Giants got the lead at base for the next six innings and didn’t score a goal.
Crawford’s home run was the only run the Giants have scored from a Dodgers starter in the series and one of only two runs total over two games, immediately following a draw at home in which they delivered 28 runs and 45 hits to the Nationals.
San Francisco have a half-game advantage in the division after winning Saturday in the series’ second game, but the Giants have since trailed 2.5 games behind the Dodgers.
The giants took six of the 10 games they played at Dodger Stadium during their race to the NL West crown last year, including a win in their first series in Los Angeles. But as they try to repeat, they have dropped their first two contests with the Dodgers of the season. Seventeen more to go.