San Francisco Giants' Buster Posey hits an RBI double in the sixth… (Ben Margot / Associated…)
They play 162 of these a year in the major leagues and the wealth of games can tend to blur.
Not Friday night’s.
The Dodgers figure to remember this one awhile, from Clayton Kershaw starting just days after his father died, to Adrian Gonzalez being a late scratch with a sore neck, to Hanley Ramirez injuring his left hamstring and leaving the game, to Kershaw throwing a no-hitter for five innings, to the stranding runners.
To the final heartbreak.
The Giants capped a frustrating night for the Dodgers when Buster Posey hit a solo home run off reliever Ronald Belisario in the bottom of the ninth for a 2-1 victory at AT&T Park.
The Dodgers went into the frustration business early Friday in San Francisco. Ted Lilly (back) was placed on the disabled list before the game, and they were still unable to start second baseman Mark Ellis (quad) or outfielder Carl Crawford (hamstring). All that before Ramirez strained him hamstring trying to go from first to third on a single to right.
And then there were the stranded runners. In nine innings they had 18 baserunners (11 hits, seven walks) and scored one run. They left 13 men on base, were 3 for 14 with runners in scoring position and hit into three double plays.
The Dodgers got the leadoff runner on base in each of the first six innings, yet could score only once. And that came via the bat of Kershaw when he doubled to lead off the fifth against Barry Zito.
Jerry Hairston Jr.’s bunt sacrificed Kershaw to third and he scored when Nick Punto bounced a hit off the glove of shortstop Joaquin Arias. It was the first run Zito allowed at home (25 scoreless innings) this season.
With Kershaw not allowing a hit through five innings, it almost looked like it would hold up.
But the Giants broke through in the sixth when Marco Scutaro tripled to center for the Giants’ first hit. With first base open, two outs and Hunter Pence on deck, Kershaw elected to pitch to Buster Posey. Pence was hitless in his last 27 at-bats against Kershaw.
Posey doubled to score Scutaro. Pence snapped his hitless streak against Kershaw with a single to Matt Kemp in center. Kemp, who had struggled with this throws in the last road trip, threw a bullet to catcher A.J. Ellis at the plate, who just beat the sliding Posey for the out.
Kershaw left the game after completing the seventh, having allowed the one run on three hits and three walks. He struck out five.