Dodgers still have a Gi­ant is­sue

L.A. falls to 2-9 against San Fran­cisco this sea­son and the di­vi­sion lead shrinks to half a game. SAN FRAN­CISCO 6 DODGERS 2

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Dy­lan Her­nan­dez

With the tips of his fin­gers, Yas­mani Gran­dal re­peat­edly tapped the wall against which he was lean­ing. His jaw was clenched.

Again, the Dodgers couldn’t score more than a cou­ple of runs Satur­day. Again, they couldn’t beat the San Fran­cisco Giants, this time drop­ping a 6-2 de­ci­sion at Dodger Sta­dium that re­duced their di­vi­sion lead over their sec­ond-place visi­tors to a half-game.

The Dodgers are 2-9 against the Giants this sea­son. Their three-game se­ries will con­clude Sun­day.

“I [couldn’t] care less whether we’re 0-20,” Gran­dal said. “I don’t re­ally care. You’ve got to play, still, over 90 games.”

As Gran­dal con­tin­ued to tap thewall, he talked about how he thought Giants starter Tim Hud­son ben­e­fited from a wide strike zone.

“About a ball and a half away,” Gran­dal said.

The 39-year-old Hud­son pitched 61⁄ in­nings and lim­ited the Dodgers to two runs, which were scored on backto-back solo home runs by Joc Ped­er­son and Justin Turner in the first in­ning.

The Dodgers had only four hits over the last eight in­nings of the game, which made Gran­dal lament what he per­ceived as their mis­for­tune.

“Ev­ery hard-hit ball, it seemed like it was straight at some­body, un­less it was a home run,” Gran­dal said with a sigh.

The Dodgers have dropped six of their last eight games. They have scored two or fewer run­sin19 of their last 34 games.

With Car­los Frias im­plod­ing on the mound— the rookie right-han­der was charged with six runs over 51⁄ in­nings — the Dodgers had no chance. Frias gave up a two-run home run to Justin Maxwell in the fifth in­ning and another to Bran­don Belt in the sixth, which ac­counted for the four-run dif­fer­en­tial.

“I think his ad­just­ments need to im­prove a lit­tle bit more,” said Gran­dal, who caught Frias.

Later, on the other side of the club­house, Adrian Gon­za­lez con­tin­ued to preach pa­tience.

“It’s a marathon,” Gon­za­lez said. “I know a lot of peo­ple like to fo­cus on the last twoweeks. It’s a long sea­son.

“But who knows? Maybe in two weeks, you’re go­ing to be talk­ing about how good our of­fense is and you’ll for­get all about these last two weeks.”

Gon­za­lez bat­ted cleanup for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive day, as Man­ager Don Mat­tingly stayed with a lineup that scored five runs in a de­feat the pre­vi­ous night.

“I per­son­ally like the lineup that we have right now,” Gon­za­lez said. “But no mat­ter how you struc­ture it, it’s up to us to put to­gether qual­ity at-bats and hit the ball hard.”

The Dodgers left 13 run­ners on base. They­were 0 for 5with run­ners in scor­ing po­si­tion.

Like Gran­dal, Gon­za­lez down­played the sig­nif­i­cance of the mount­ing defeats to the Giants.

“To me, it means if we win to­mor­row, we’ll be11⁄ games up,” Gon­za­lez said. “No­body goes back af­ter you win a di­vi­sion and says, ‘Who’d you beat and who’d you lose to?’ ”

Mat­tingly was about the only per­son who con­ceded that drop­ping games to the Giants was a prob­lem.

“They’ve ba­si­cally gained seven games on us in the games that we’ve played them,” Mat­tingly said. “So, ob­vi­ously, that’s some­thing that we have to be able to change.”

Af­ter this se­ries, the Dodgers’ next game against the Giants will be on Aug. 31, when the teams open a three-game se­ries at Dodger Sta­dium. The Dodgers will visit San Fran­cisco for a four-game se­ries that starts on Sept. 28.

“I think, at the end, it’s all about us try­ing to win the di­vi­sion,” Mat­tingly said. “It makes sense that it’s prob­a­bly go­ing to go through those guys. We’re go­ing to have to find a way to get it done.”

dy­lan.her­nan­dez@latimes.com

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