SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) – NL Cy Young Award contender Clayton Kershaw outdueled two-time winner Tim Lincecum, pinch-hitter Jamey Carroll drove home the go-ahead run in the ninth and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants 2-1 on Friday night.
Rod Barajas singled to start the ninth against Santiago Casilla (2-2) and former Giant Eugenio Velez came in to pinch-run. Justin Sellers sacrificed him to second and Velez moved to third on a wild pitch. Second baseman Jeff Keppinger then threw home on Carroll’s grounder but a sliding Velez just beat the tag by catcher Eli Whiteside.
The reigning World Series champion Giants fell to 8 ½ games back of first-place Arizona in the NL West with 18 to play after the Diamondbacks beat the Padres 3-2.
Kershaw (18-5) allowed three hits, one unearned run, struck out nine and walked one in eight strong innings, allowing only Pablo Sandoval’s first-inning RBI single.
Javy Guerra got three straight groundouts for his 17th save in 18 chances.
Aaron Miles and Matt Kemp each had two hits. Kemp also stole second in the eighth, setting up Juan Rivera’s tying single. Tony Gwynn Jr. entered to pinch run. Miles then singled and Giants manager Bruce Bochy paid Lincecum a mound visit before leaving him in to face Jerry Sands. Lincecum struck him out swinging for his sixth K.
The Dodgers rallied late to win for the 14th time in 16 games and ninth in 11. Los Angeles has won five straight series, while San Francisco has failed to win in seven straight home series at sold-out AT&T Park since taking two of three from Milwaukee on July 22-24.
San Francisco missed chances.
Chris Stewart hit a one-out single in the eighth and was lifted
for pinch-runner Darren Ford after he hurt his foot diving back into the bag to avoid being picked off. Ford stole second but was stranded after pinch-hitter Mark DeRosa hit a foul popup and Justin Christian struck out in a 10-pitch at-bat that included five straight fouls.
Lincecum went winless in four tries this year against the Dodgers, losing his two previous decisions to Kershaw. His 127-pitch outing matched his second-most pitches thrown this year behind 133 against Oakland on May 21.
Kershaw’s nine Ks made him the first National League pitcher to reach the 230 strikeout mark.
The Dodgers finally did enough to back Kershaw after traveling cross-country following a wet and rainy stop in Washington. The nightcap of their scheduled doubleheader with the Nationals on Thursday was scrapped because of yet more precipitation—meaning Los Angeles at least got a decent night’s sleep in the Bay Area.
Lincecum has only one win in his last five starts, and 10 of his 12 defeats have come when receiving one or fewer runs of support. He has 10 starts receiving no runs.
Lincecum escaped a fourth-inning jam. He allowed his first hit on a leadoff single by Kemp, who went to third on Juan Rivera’s single. Lincecum then retired Miles on a popup and struck out Sands and Barajas.
Lincecum received a couple of defensive gems, too. Shortstop Orlando Cabrera made a tough, diving stop on Miles’ sharp line drive up the middle in the second. To end the sixth, right fielder Carlos Beltran made a tremendous catch in foul territory with his knee against the outfield wall and his left arm stretched well into the stands. Center fielder Christian hustled in toward left-center and made a diving, backhanded stop on a liner by Sellers in the seventh.
San Francisco lost reliever Jeremy Affeldt for the season after he sustained a deep cut in his right hand while using a knife to separate frozen hamburger patties during Thursday’s off day. He underwent surgery to repair a damaged nerve.
(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)