SAN FRANCISCO To a man, the Giants have refused even to hint in recent days that their lead in the National League West could be insurmountable, and the game Saturday at AT&T Park showed why.
This time, it was the Dodgers who got the big hits en route to a 3-2 victory that cut the Giants' lead in the division back to 4 1/2 games. In tonight's series finale, the Dodgers will go with Clayton Kershaw, the reigning Cy Young Award winner.
"They're not just going to roll over and let another team walk on them," Matt Cain said. "That's not going to happen."
The Giants could have struck a big blow on a day when Cain was sharp and the offense twice staked him to a lead. But Cain gave the second cushion back on an eighth-inning wild pitch, and the Dodgers rallied for the winning run in the ninth.
Adrian Gonzalez led off the inning by lining a Jeremy Affeldt curveball into Triples Alley for his first three-bagger in over a year. Affeldt said he was trying to get ahead in the count against Gonzalez, the Dodgers' No. 3 hitter on a day when Matt Kemp was out of the lineup with a shoulder injury.
"I threw the pitch where I wanted it, but he just hit it into the part of the ballpark where you don't want anybody to hit it," Affeldt said.
Hanley Ramirez followed with a double, scoring Gonzalez.
Buster Posey earlier threw out Ramirez at third on a steal attempt and cut down Andre Ethier at second to keep the Dodgers from potentially pulling away, but the Giants' ninth-inning rally attempt fell short. With Gregor Blanco on second, Hector Sanchez hit a two-out liner right at third baseman Luis Cruz.
"This is why September baseball is so fun," Affeldt said. "It's going to come down to one base hit. We had it (Friday in a 5-2 Giants win), and they had it today."
Kemp had a cortisone shot in his left shoulder and will miss tonight's game. He hopes to return to the Dodgers' lineup Tuesday.
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