SAN FRANCISCO — While almost nothing could match the perfection the San Francisco Giants were celebrating on Sunday, starting pitcher Carlos Rodón threw a near perfect outing while getting the perfect start from his offense in allowing the Giants to see off a perfect ending in their series against their rivals.
Rodón threw six scoreless innings while first-inning home runs from Austin Slater and Mike Yastrzemski was all the offense needed in the Giants’ 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers to complete a three-game series sweep at Oracle Park. While the team celebrated the 10th anniversary of Matt Cain’s perfect game that he tossed against the Houston Astros on the same field, San Francisco’s pitching staff held the Dodgers’ offense, the highest-scoring in the Major Leagues coming into the weekend, to just four runs combined during the three games, with the Giants’ struggling bullpen regaining some of the form of 2021 as it closed out the game with three scoreless innings.
“I thought we played a good series. Obviously we pitched well and played some good defense. That’s huge for us,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “Very consistent with the way we’ve felt all year long, we’re not going to get too high or too low. Obviously, our bullpen pitched very well in this series and in this game, in particular, I thought these guys were excellent.”
Both Rodón and the bullpen benefitted from the Slater’s defense as well, as he made a running catch on a liner from Trea Turner to end the top of the first and then, with Turner at first base in the eighth inning and one out, Slater hustled into the right-centerfield gap to run down a line drive from Will Smith that possibly prevented a run given Turner’s speed.
“Slates (Slater) takes away two possible hits. Two possible hits against the lineup like [the Dodgers] turns into runs,” Kapler said. “We know that it turns into higher pitch counts. We know that part of the reason Carlos pitched as well as he did and part of the reason he went deep into the game as he did is because of the catches Slater made in front of him.”
The Giants, who had a hot start to the season and ended April ahead of the Dodgers in first place in the NL West, have recovered from a subpar six-week stretch to move just 3.5 behind Los Angeles in the NL West standings.
The Dodgers just managed to scrape five hits today after banging out 13 in yesterday’s game — though Los Angeles went just 2-for10 with runners in scoring position and scored their only runs on Saturday in the eighth and ninth innings.
Julio Urias struck out 10 batters and did not issuing a walk in six innings for the Dodgers, but the homers to Slater and Yastrzemski, two of the three hits he allowed, proved the difference.
Chris Taylor went 2-for-4 for the Dodgers, the only Los Angeles player with multiple hits in the game, but dud strike out against reliever Dominic Leone with runners on first and third in the eight inning that ended the Dodgers’ biggest scoring threat of the contest.