Stellar Kershaw rewarded by Turner's late homer

Stellar Kershaw rewarded by Turner's late homer

SAN FRANCISCO -- A typical Dodgers-Giants game unfolded Friday night at AT&T Park. That is, typically excellent, by Clayton Kershaw's standards.

Kershaw, the Dodgers ace, and San Francisco's Johnny Cueto held hitters spellbound for eight innings before Justin Turner's ninth-inning, tiebreaking home run propelled Los Angeles past the Giants, 3-2.

With the score tied, 2-2, Turner drove Santiago Casilla's 2-1 delivery over the left-field barrier to christen the ninth. It was a stunning development, considering Casilla (1-2) had limited right-handed batters to a .170 average.

"Just trying to get on base," said Turner, whose fifth homer of the season gave the Dodgers their 12th victory in 18 games. "Sometimes when you simplify things, bigger things happen."

Turner's go-ahead blast

Kershaw (9-1) allowed two runs and five hits in eight innings while striking out 13. He also threw just as many swinging strikes (30) as balls. The left-hander's seventh consecutive winning decision improved his career record at AT&T Park to 10-3 with a 1.30 ERA in 17 games, including 16 starts.

"We got big plays all the way around," Kershaw said. "It was a fun game to play in. You know it's a big game but that shouldn't affect you one way or another. You try to pitch the same no matter what."

Meanwhile, the Giants were left to ponder Casilla's slump. He has allowed runs in three of his last four outings.

"He's our closer. That was his situation," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who added, "I'm surprised when he gives up a home run; he's your closer. But when you look at our bullpen, that's the way it shakes up. We have to hopefully get a little bit better everywhere. I think overall it's been pretty good, but I will admit we need to get a little better there late in the ballgame."

Bochy on loss to Dodgers

The Giants launched few sustained scoring threats, but they had some close calls. Brandon Crawford, Joe Panik and Buster Posey each hit long drives in the final three innings that carried close to the outfield wall.

"Five feet combined, from Buster's ball going off the wall and Crawford's going over the fence," suggested Giants third baseman Matt Duffy, who homered in the first inning.

Cueto sparkled while receiving no decision, retiring 23 of the final 24 hitters he faced after yielding a pair of first-inning runs.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Strolling around the bases: Chase Utley was hit by a pitch leading off the game, reached second when Corey Seager beat out a bunt, jogged to third on a wild pitch and was awarded home on a balk, giving the Dodgers and Kershaw the early advantage.

"We got the two early runs against him like we did earlier in the season but [Cueto] adjusted well after the first inning and kept us off the bases," Dodgers outfielder Trayce Thompson said. "He's one of the best in the league and he's really effective."

Cueto balks in Utley

Duffy goes deep: Duffy ended a streak of 214 at-bats without a home run when he drove Kershaw's 0-1 slider over the left-field wall. Duffy hadn't homered since April 6, the season's third game, when he connected off Milwaukee's Taylor Jungmann in the second inning.

"It definitely feels good," Duffy said. "I've been trying to do too much for quite some time now."

Duffy's solo blast

Justin turns on it: Turner's go-ahead shot off Casilla was his fourth home run and 10th RBI in his last 15 games against the Giants. He's also hitting .393 (11-for-28) in close and late game situations this season.

"He's always been a clutch hitter for us," Kershaw said. "It was a huge home run against their closer. It was a big moment for us. It was a good feeling."

Posey's promising return: After missing three games with an irritated right thumb, Posey returned to the lineup and hit a sixth-inning RBI double. Facing Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen with nobody on and one out in the ninth, Posey clobbered a roaring opposite-field drive to right that Thompson caught at the wall.

"I can't hit it much better than that, that way," Posey said. "I thought it would hit at least off the wall. I watched the replay and it seems like the ball goes straight down by the time the outfielder catches up with it."

QUOTABLE
"They told me I had to up my shoe game. These are my pregame shoes. I have other ones for the game ... Jordans." -- Dodgers manager Dave Roberts on a snazzy pair of shoes he was wearing

AFTER FURTHER REVIEW
Utley was hit by a pitch with two outs in the fifth, although home-plate umpire D.J. Reyburn did not call it that way originally. The call was overturned after Roberts asked for a review. The Dodgers have had eight calls overturned in 13 challenges.

"It was not clear," Roberts said. "I didn't see it or hear it and neither did D.J. It's fortunate we can review a hit-by-pitch."

Utley hit after overturned call

WHAT'S NEXT
Dodgers: Left-hander Scott Kazmir gets the call for Saturday's 4:15 p.m. PT start. He's 2-0 over his last three starts with four walks and 24 strikeouts in 17 innings. He's 1-2 with a 5.23 ERA in four career starts against the Giants.

Giants: After allowing season highs of six runs and nine hits in five innings last Saturday at St. Louis, Jeff Samardzija will try to recover in Saturday's rematch against the Dodgers, who beat him in Los Angeles, 3-1, on April 17.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Dodgers on Friday.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. 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.