With the Dodgers' eight-man bullpen out of fresh arms, the Giants added an RBI single by Brandon Belt and a third run on a sacrifice liner by Hunter Pence, in spite of a five-star layout catch by Dodgers center fielder Andrew Toles. Steven Okert got the win and Mark Melancon notched his sixth save, despite creating a jam that brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the 11th.
Samardzija allowed the unearned run on three hits in eight innings with 11 strikeouts and no walks, his 10th career double-digit strikeout start. He outlasted Dodgers starter Julio Urias, who pitched out of two jams and walked four (Brandon Belt three times) in five scoreless innings.
"This is as good as I've seen him," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Samardzija. "He was using the corners, pitching backwards, cutter was good to the lefties, the change, the velocity -- he has good stuff. When we did have pitches to hit, we couldn't square them up."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Urias wins battle, loses pitch count: With the bases loaded and two out in the fifth inning, Urias got Pence on a harmless fly ball to left field on a changeup and kept the game scoreless. Urias had just walked Belt for the third time in the game. The 27-pitch inning, however, ran up the pitch count on Urias to 88 and at the end the Dodgers were out of fresh relievers despite an eight-man bullpen.
"My fastball command wasn't there and a lot of pitches were left low," Urias said. "I wasted a lot of pitches early and got behind in counts. To get Pence, I just had to attack him. I had dominated him earlier and I got a fastball for a strike and got him on a changeup."
No margin for (three-base) error: Puig led off the sixth with a high popup behind first base. With a better angle, Panik outran first baseman Belt to the ball but dropped it just before crossing from fair to foul territory, and Puig hustled to third ahead of the throw.
"I need to take care of the ball in that situation," Panik said. "That was a long run, but I've got to make that play. But [Samardzija] minimized the damage in that situation."
"This pushes us in the right direction and gives the team a sense of confidence." -- Bochy on the Giants' series victory
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Urias does not want Belt to beat him. Belt homered and doubled off Urias last year, but Urias has walked him the last four times they've faced, including three times in this game.
WHAT'S NEXT Giants: Following Thursday's scheduled off-day, the Giants will begin a three-game weekend series Friday at Cincinnati. Matt Cain, who's 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA in his last four outings, will start the series opener at 3:40 p.m. PT.
Dodgers: After a day off Thursday, the Dodgers open a three-game series Friday night with Kenta Maeda starting the 7:10 p.m. PT game at Petco Park. Maeda is coming off his best start, seven innings against Philadelphia. The Dodgers expect to activate outfielder Joc Pederson off the disabled list before the game.