LOS ANGELES – Evan Longoria homered Max Scherzer in the fifth inning and the San Francisco Giants trailed the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1 in their NL division series on Monday night.
Los Angeles tied it up with two outs in the ninth, when pinch-hitter Gavin Lux started a long drive to left-center. But the wind blew it, and the ball was caught on a warning track, causing Lux to disbelieve.
It was the Giants’ second shutout in the top five playoffs after winning the opener 4-0.
Game 4 Tuesday at Dodger Stadium with Game 5 if necessary, Thursday in San Francisco.
The Dodgers beat the Giants 9-2 to win Game 2, but only scored five hits at home. NL batting champion Trey Turner and Mookie Betts went 0 for 4 with 0, and Corey Seeger was 0 for 4 with a walk.
Longoria hit a left-center in a big way with a 0-for-23 crash. He has only had two hits in his last 40 at-bats. This is their first postseason homer since the 2013 ALDS with Tampa Bay.
After that, Scherzer retired his final six batters. But the Dodgers lost their first 13 games since being acquired by Washington in the July 13 trade deadline.
Scherzer said, “You come into the postseason. You can always beat a pitch. It works. Tonight I lost it on one pitch.”
The Giants’ other two hit songs are the singles of Buster Posey and Chris Bryant. His final 15 batters were retired, including the ninth, when Kenley Jansen struck out the Dodgers.
San Francisco starter Alex Wood allowed two hits over his former team over 4 2/3 innings. The left-hander struck out four and walked two. Tyler Rogers won with 1 2/3 innings of relief. Camillo Doval had two perfect innings to save.
The cool, stormy wind blew flags at Center Field, and Scherzer stumbled to deliver the opening pitch at night, with weather similar to that of Oracle Park in San Francisco.
Napkins, peanuts and plastic bags blew through the cautious track and stands. The haze of dust obliterated the usual gorgeous view of the San Gabriel Mountains and made the pregame flyover look like nothing other than a videoboard. The fan’s white hat came off the stand and came to the field in the second innings.
Throughout the game the fierce wind blew steadily from left to right, ruffling the pitchers’ pants on the mound.
Scherzer adjusted his mechanics before Game 3 in his last bullpen session. He lost the rhythm from his last three starts when he struggled with his command, including an NL wild card game against St. Louis.
He retired 10 batters between the first Posey single and Bryant’s fourth two single. Bryant made his first start for The Tue for the Giants.
Scherzer allowed one run and three hits in seven innings to take the loss. The three-time Cy Young Award winner struck out 10 — his fifth career double-digit postseason strikeout total — and walked one of 110 pitches.
The tension was evident in the ensuing innings.
Pinch-hitter Steven Souza Jr. and Will Smith had seven singles, the Dodgers’ first back-to-back hit, submarine Rogers. Pinch-hitter Austin Barnes swung out.
With a sales crowd of 53,299, “Let’s Go, Dodgers!”
The Dodgers had three hits – all singles – through six innings.
His first hit came off the bat of 41-year-old Albert Pujols, who, with his solitary right, led the third in his 75th career postseason game. Along with Pujols, the Dodgers started 37-year-old Scherzer and 36-year-old Justin Turner.
It was Pujols’ first start and hit in the playoffs with the Los Angeles Angels after the 2014 ALDS. NL MVP hit .294 three times against left-handed pitching in regular left tackle.
Pujols was again in the top of the fifth, replacing pinch-runner Billy McKinney. It was their first multi-hit postseason game since their three-homer appearance in Game 3 of the 2011 World Series for St. Louis.