SAN FRANCISCO -- Madison Bumgarner supported himself with a home run and distinguished himself with a 6 1/3-innings effort Thursday as the San Francisco Giants completed their three-game shutout sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 4-0 victory.
The defending World Series champions lengthened their winning streak to six games while improving to 7-2 this season against the Dodgers. The Giants last blanked Los Angeles in a three-game series June 25-27, 2012.
Bumgarner (5-2) victimized Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (2-3) by pulling his seventh career homer into the left-field seats to open the scoring in the third inning. It was the first home run that Kershaw ever has yielded to another pitcher.
"You throw a lot of pitches over the course of your career. There are going to be a lot of different things that happen," Bumgarner said, remaining humble.
Kershaw worked 7 1/3 innings and was charged with all of San Francisco's runs, though he took an 8-2 record and an 0.98 ERA in 12 AT&T Park starts into this game. Meanwhile, Bumgarner stranded four runners in scoring position as he improved to 9-3 with a 1.81 ERA in his past 13 starts against the Dodgers.
"We made Madison work for it, got a lot of guys out there, just weren't able to get hits to push runs across," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.
San Francisco's 19-8 record (.703) since April 21 is the best in the Major Leagues in that span.
"It's never just one guy doing something," Bumgarner said, explaining the Giants' improvement.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Good call: Roberto Kelly, in his first year as third-base coach, furiously waved home Angel Pagan from second base on Hunter Pence's one-out single in the fourth. It turned out to be the right move. Right fielder Scott Van Slyke made a strong one-hop throw, but Pagan slid headfirst under catcher A.J. Ellis' tag.
Too aggressive:Alex Guerrero ran the Dodgers out of a rally in the sixth inning after his one-out single. Ellis followed with a line single to left-center, but Guerrero tried to go to third base and was thrown out Nori Aoki to Joaquin Arias to Casey McGehee. Instead of two on and one out, it was two out and one on, and Kershaw struck out to end the inning.
"If he stops, we've got Kersh up bunting," said Mattingly. "Do we get the big hit to tie the game right there? Obviously, it was a big moment." More >
Under the radar: Left-hander Javier Lopez appeared in each game of this series and contributed heavily to two of the Giants' victories, including this game. Thursday, he induced a fielder's-choice grounder from Adrian Gonzalez, who represented the potential tying run at the time, to end the seventh inning. Wednesday, he induced a comebacker from Gonzalez with two on and two outs in the eighth. Lopez thus rebounded nicely from Tuesday's series opener, when he walked both batters he faced.
Ouch: After the game, Kershaw was icing his left leg below the knee where he took a smash off the bat of Aoki in the third inning that went for an infield single. It came on the first pitch after Bumgarner's home run.
Mattingly lost a challenge on a run-scoring play in the bottom of the fourth inning. On the play, Pence lined a one-out single that right fielder Van Slyke fielded on one hop and threw a one-hopper to catcher Ellis, who made a swipe tag on Pagan, who was trying to score after a leadoff double. Home-plate umpire Scott Barry called Pagan safe and a replay official confirmed the call. The Dodgers are 3-for-12 on challenges.
"It was worth a challenge," Mattingly said.
WHAT'S NEXT Dodgers: The Dodgers open a six-game homestand Friday night at 7:10 p.m. PT, with Zack Greinke starting against the Padres. Greinke has allowed San Diego one run in 13 innings this year and is 5-0 with a 1.58 ERA in nine career starts against the Padres.
Giants: Manager Bruce Bochy referred to Friday's 5:10 p.m. PT series opener at Colorado as the beginning of a tough stretch for the Giants, who play a day-night doubleheader against the Rockies on Saturday that's followed by a day game Sunday. Then comes an odd day-night-day combination of games at Milwaukee, followed by seven consecutive home games.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.