Closer Brandon League, the fifth Dodgers reliever used after Matt Magill's 1 1/3 inning start, took the loss by allowing a one-out pinch-homer to left by backup catcher Guillermo Quiroz on an 0-2 pitch. Starting catcher Buster Posey homered off Ronald Belisario for Friday night's win.
"Was it a perfect split? No. Was he seeing the split? Yeah," said League, who was prepared by the staff to expect a second inning of action after escaping a bases-loaded jam in the ninth with a Posey double-play grounder.
"Obviously, I want that pitch back. But I didn't make him look too good on the 0-1 split, so of course I tried to throw it again. I hung one out of 12 that I threw. He got me."
"He hung a split-finger fastball," said Quiroz. "The one before was pretty nasty; it just ran down. I knew League pretty well. I kind of knew what pitch he was trying to get me out with."
The loss wasted an electrifying season debut of new shortstop Dee Gordon, who was promoted from Triple-A to take over for the injured Hanley Ramirez and helped put the Dodgers ahead twice with a two-run triple in the fifth inning and by creating a run with his speed in the seventh. Gordon went 2-for-4 with two runs, two RBIs, two steals and a walk.
The Dodgers had won their last 80 games against the Giants when they scored at least nine runs dating back to 1970, but that's the way it's going for the Dodgers these days.
"It's been a rough 24 hours. For all of us," said Jerry Hairston.
With a new three-game losing streak, manager Don Mattingly preferred to accentuate the positive, specifically the seven-run fifth inning that erased a five-run deficit.
"It tells me a lot about my club," he said. "I feel as good as you can feel about a loss. We're going to be fine. We've got guys banged up, no different than some other teams. We're moving toward getting some people back. While I say that, I still see a club with plenty of weapons. We've still got firepower to score runs."
But pitching is another story altogether. Magill, in his second Major League start, probably earned a pass instead of a next start. His early exit taxed the bullpen, with four of the five relievers allowing runs. The staff allowed eight walks, three of them coming around the score. The Giants also scored two runs on wild pitches.
The first inning was a 43-pitch disaster for Magill: three runs on three hits with three walks, one more than he had in his 6 2/3-innings debut. It started with a wind-blown Angel Pagan double that confounded Gordon, followed by a pair of walks. Posey, who drove in both Giants runs Friday night, doubled in the first two with a bases-loaded double. One out later, the Giants scored another run on Gregor Blanco's infield single to Gordon on an 0-2 pitch.
It was more of the same in the second inning with three more hits, a walk and a wild pitch, and Mattingly yanked Magill after 1 1/3 innings and 63 pitches. J.P. Howell inherited loaded bases and allowed one run to score on a Blanco sacrifice fly.
A.J. Ellis got the Dodgers on the board in the fourth inning when his towering one-out fly ball entered the jet stream and carried out to dead center for his second home run.
Trailing by five after four innings, the Dodgers came back from the dead with a seven-run fifth. Hairston's ground-rule double moved Carl Crawford to third base. Matt Kemp singled up the middle to score Crawford and Hairston, the latter limping the final couple of strides with a mild groin tweak. Ellis walked with two outs, Skip Schumaker singled inside third base to score Kemp and former Giant Juan Uribe singled home Ellis to chase Giants starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong, who fell one out shy of qualifying for a win in a game he led by five runs.
Jean Machi took over to face Gordon, whose drive to right-center was lost in the lights by Hunter Pence and went for a two-run triple to give the Dodgers a 7-6 lead. Nick Punto, who led off the inning with a walk pinch-hitting for Howell, doubled home Gordon for an 8-6 lead.
Javy Guerra took over and allowed a solo home run to Andres Torres with one out in the fifth. Then Guerra allowed the first three Giants in the sixth to reach base and Paco Rodriguez came on with no outs and the bases loaded. He struck out Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt, only to allow the tying run on a wild pitch to Torres before getting him on a comebacker.
Gordon put the Dodgers back in front in the top of the seventh with a walk, a steal of third and then raced home on a two-hopper to second base with the infield in on a contact play, his headfirst slide beating Marco Scutaro's throw. But the Giants tied it again in the bottom of the seventh off Belisario with a double by Francisco Peguero, a single by Scutaro and Pablo Sandoval's sacrifice fly.
League escaped a real mess in the bottom of the ninth, the Giants loading the bases with one out and Posey, Friday night's home run hero, up. But he bounced into an inning-ending double play.