SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -Steven Duggar hit a draw two-round triple after being called up earlier in the day, Brandon Belt homered, and the San Francisco Giants ended their central weekend series against the rival Los Angeles Dodgers with a 6-4 wins Sunday to take the NL West lead.
Albert Pujols hit career home run No. 678 with a trick-hit, two-run in the ninth off Giants closer Jake McGee, who allowed Max Muncy’s single out later and then retired Mookie Betts on a so-called third strike. The final out went to reproduction and was confirmed after right fielder Mike Yastrzemski caught Justin Turner’s fly against the net in the ugly area.
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Brandon Crawford had an RBI double, and Darin Ruf ended a race in the second when San Francisco beat Walker Buehler (13-3) for the first time. He had gone 7-0 with a 1.83 ERA over his first 12 outings and 10 starts against the Giants. The right-hander had not allowed more than five runs since giving up six to Colorado on September 2, 2019.
The Giants marked Buehler for a season-high six runs on seven hits over three innings in the final regular season showdown between rivals. San Francisco (87-50) now has a lead in a game and owns any tiebreakers with the defending World Series champions (86-51) after winning the season series 10-9.
And here’s how close these clubs played in 2021: The Dodgers surpassed the Giants’ head-to-head 80-78.
Dominic Leone hit a perfect inning in the first start of his career in a second straight to San Francisco after the Dodgers relied on relievers in the series opener on Friday night when David Price could not walk.
José Álvarez came in for the second and handed over Will Smith’s RBI single before winner Zack Littell (2-0) eased and knocked out two.
“Back-to-back bullpen days are tough,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “It’s no secret. A kind of characteristic of this team is to be able to handle challenging situations and be good at handling challenging situations. ”
San Francisco avoided losing three straight series for the first time all season.
PUJOLS RETURNS TO ST. LOUIS
Pujols is on his way back to Busch Stadium with a little nostalgia again in St. Louis, who he called home for his first 11 major league seasons from 2001-2011.
The 41-year-old slugger insists on “I do not think about” so he can avoid any distractions with so much fanfare.
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Still, the trip is very meaningful – even though he went back to Busch Stadium in 2019 with the angels. By not putting extra expectations on himself, Pujols said it is a way to avoid disappointment “if it does not go as you thought.”
“It was special in 2019 when I first went there and it will be special when we go there tomorrow this week,” Pujols said. “I always try to let these things play out as they come to play. I just do not like to bring distraction on myself. I’m just trying to prepare for the game and the things I need to do. ”
Pujols play Tuesday and Thursday, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
Dodgers: OF AJ Pollock was placed on the 10-day injury list with a strained right hamstring, though he “felt much better today”, according to Roberts, after the injury Saturday night. Pollock is expected to miss two to three weeks. “A few weeks is probably where we are,” Roberts said. “I can still see him come back this season at some point.” … LHP Clayton Kershaw, out since July 7 with an inflamed pitching elbow, threw a good bullpen using all of his lanes and remains on schedule to start a rehab on Tuesday for Triple-A Oklahoma City. … LHP Danny Duffy, at 60-day IL with a flexor load at the elbow, will continue to play catch for the next few days before being scheduled for simulated play.
Giants: OF Austin Slater was placed on seven-day IL with a concussion inflicted Saturday night. He crashed into the center field wall in the first inning Saturday night in an attempt to chase Trea Turner’s lead home run. … INF Donovan Solano was expected on the football field after returning from New York, where he was quarantined after a positive test for COVID-19.
Los Angeles recalled RHP Mitch White for his eighth big league season this year, after most recently playing at Class-A Rancho Cucamonga and also with Oklahoma City.
The Giants called OF Duggar and RHP Camilo Doval from Triple-A Sacramento and selected LHP Sammy Long for Sacramento.
RHP Kevin Gausman (12-5, 2.52) takes the height of the Giants in the series opener in Colorado on Monday after three straight without decisions, but with wins in his last three decisions.
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