Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis talks to starting pitcher Chris Capuano in the… (Jason Redmond / Associated…)
That was not pretty. That was one step ahead of embarrassing.
The Dodgers played host to the San Francisco Giants in their biggest series of the year and did not step up. They did not hit, pitch or field well. They did not resemble a team hungry to seize control of their division.
They did get swept, the Giants adding the finishing touches Wednesday night with an 8-4 victory that dropped the Dodgers 2½ games back of San Francisco in the National League West.
A Dodger Stadium crowd of 40,173 saw the Dodgers swept in a three-game series at home by the Giants for the first time since 2007.
The Dodgers opened the series coming off a 7-3 trip, with a half a game lead in the NL West and feeling like a team ready to make a statement.
Turns out they did, just not the one they were expecting.
Giants starting pitching dominated all three games, with Matt Cain taking his turn Wednesday. In the 20 2/3 innings against Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Cain, the Dodgers scored two earned runs.
For the third consecutive game, the Giants jumped in front in the first inning and never trailed. For the third consecutive game, Angel Pagan got it going for the Giants, this time with a double.
Marco Scutaro’s hit sent Pagan to third base, from where he scored on a Pablo Sandoval sacrifice fly. Joaquin Arias then hit a two-run home run and the Giants were up, 3-0.
Dodgers starter Chris Capuano found a groove after the Arias home run, retiring the next 13 Giants before they went back to work in the sixth inning, via the same group of suspects.
Pagan led off with a single and went to third base on a Scutaro ground-rule double. A Sandoval single drove in Pagan and that was it for Capuano. Shawn Tolleson took over, but after striking out Hunter Pence gave up a run-scoring double to Arias.
After Tolleson struck out Hector Sanchez, the Dodgers intentionally walked Brandon Belt. And knowing how this series was unfolding, you can guess how that worked out. Tolleson walked Justin Christian – hitting .133 – to force in a sixth run.
The Dodgers finally got to Cain for a run, thanks to Pence doing some odd, twisting attempt on an Andre Ethier drive to right field in the sixth inning. The fly ball landed past Pence’s glove, giving Ethier his 30th double of the season. He becomes the first Dodger with six consecutive seasons of 30 doubles or more.
A Hanley Ramirez single drove in Ethier, giving the Dodgers their first run.
Cain left after seven innings, holding the Dodgers to one run and seven hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out five.
After starting 0-8 with a 4.23 earned-run average in 14 starts against the Dodgers, Cain is 4-0 with a 2.02 ERA in his last seven starts.
After the Giants went ahead, 8-1, with two runs in the seventh when Rubby De La Rosa walked two batters in his first appearance since having Tommy John surgery, the Dodgers got one back in the eighth on consecutive doubles by Mark Ellis and Matt Kemp.
After a single by Ethier and a walk to Juan Uribe loaded the bases, Luis Cruz continued his run of big hits with a broken-bat, two-run single.
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