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Kershaw strikes out 13, wins 7th straight by beating Giants

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Clayton Kershaw struck out 13 in eight innings, Justin Turner hit a go-ahead homer in the top of the ninth and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants 3-2 on Friday night.

Kershaw (9-1) outdueled Johnny Cueto to improve to 7-0 over his last eight starts, and with 82 strikeouts to just three walks during that stretch since an April 26 loss to Miami. He is 3-0 in six road starts.

Turner hit a 2-1 pitch from Santiago Casilla (1-2) to left field to start the ninth and the Dodgers shaved a game off the Giants’ NL West lead to pull within three – though both clubs know this race surely will be decided down the stretch.

The Dodgers have won the last five games against the Giants when Kershaw pitches, and the lefty is 18-7 in 33 starts facing rival San Francisco.

Kenley Jansen allowed Brandon Belt‘s two-out double in the ninth followed by a walk to pinch-hitter Gregor Blanco before striking out Brandon Crawford on a 3-2 pitch for his 17th save.

The Dodgers improved to 12-1 in Kershaw’s outings, while the Giants dropped to 11-2 when Cueto takes the mound. He had beaten Los Angeles in consecutive April starts.

Cueto, who was trying to become the majors’ third 10-game winner of the night after Washington’s Stephen Strasburg and Chris Sale of the White Sox, had his home scoreless streak of 29 1/3 innings snapped in the first when he fell behind 2-0.

The right-hander struck out eight in eight innings, allowing two runs on three hits with no walks.

The Dodgers went ahead on a balk that Cueto and manager Bruce Bochy debated with plate umpire D.J. Reyburn, then added on with Adrian Gonzalez‘s RBI single.

Matt Duffy homered in the bottom of the first, sending an 0-1 pitch into the left-field bleachers for just the fifth long ball given up by Los Angeles’ ace, and Buster Posey hit a tying double in the sixth.

Posey was back in the lineup to catch him after missing three straight games with an irritated nerve in his right thumb, but with two off days, he had five days of rest. He received an injection in the area Sunday.

The Dodgers challenged a ball call against Chase Utley in the fifth that actually hit Utley, and it was overturned after about a minute. Cueto then retired the final 10 hitters he faced in order.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Dodgers: RF Yasiel Puig, on the disabled list since June 3 with a strained left hamstring, will join Class A Rancho Cucamonga at home Monday with the hope he will be activated June 20 against the Nationals. Puig has been working in the batting cage on “shortening his stroke,” manager Dave Roberts said. When Puig is ready, Roberts will still try to get Trayce Thompson regular playing time, but Puig’s defense and strong arm are too valuable to keep him out of the lineup. … RHP Brandon McCarthy is slated to make his first rehab start and go two innings Saturday at Rancho Cucamonga as he works back from Tommy John surgery.

Giants: INF Kelby Tomlinson was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left thumb that happened on a dive Wednesday against Boston but didn’t initially become problematic. He will need a splint for about two weeks. … RF Hunter Pence underwent surgery Thursday on his torn right hamstring in Dallas and all went smoothly and as planned. He was expected back in the Bay Area on Friday night and at the ballpark Saturday. … RHP Sergio Romo (elbow strain), who was transferred to the 60-day DL to make room for the callup of INF Ramiro Pena from Triple-A Sacramento, could throw off the mound Saturday. … LF Angel Pagan (left hamstring strain) will begin a three-game rehab assignment with Sacramento beginning Saturday night in El Paso, Texas.

UP NEXT

Dodgers: LHP Scott Kazmir (5-3, 4.46 ERA) is 2-0 with 24 strikeouts and four walks in 17 innings over his last three starts.

Giants: Jeff Samardzija (7-4, 3.33) looks to bounce back from a loss at St. Louis in which he surrendered season highs of six runs and nine hits. He is 1-3 in five career outings – three starts – vs. L.A.

Marlins, Giants get into heated beanball war

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You may have heard that Giants closer Hunter Strickland broke his hand punching a door in frustration after Monday night’s subpar performance. He’ll miss six to eight weeks as a result. Strickland came in to protect a 4-2 lead but ended up giving up three runs. The tying run was knocked in by Lewis Brinson on a single to right field. Brinson moved to third base on a go-ahead single by Miguel Rojas, which prompted manager Bruce Bochy to take Strickland out of the game.

On his way to the dugout, Strickland started chirping at Brinson. Much like Bryce Harper and Strickland, Brinson and Strickland have a bit of a history. Last Thursday, Brinson handed Strickland a blown save with a sacrifice fly to deep center field. Brinson was happy to help his team tie the game, pumping his fast and saying, “Let’s go” at no one in particular. That rubbed Strickland the wrong way. Everything seems to rub Strickland the wrong way.

During Tuesday night’s game, Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez threw at Brinson with the first pitch, a 92 MPH fastball. Home plate umpire Andy Fletcher issued warnings to both benches. Manager Don Mattingly came out to argue, suggesting that his team hadn’t done anything wrong so it was unfair to essentially take the inside part of the plate away from his pitchers. On his way back to the dugout, Mattingly could be seen saying, “You’re next” to catcher Buster Posey.

The Giants scored twice in the bottom of the second against Dan Straily to extend their lead to 3-0. Posey came to the plate with a runner on first base and one out. Straily hit Posey with a 91 MPH fastball on the first pitch, prompting ejections of both Straily and Mattingly. Posey was hit on the arm. If the pitch had come in a bit lower and hit Posey on the wrist or hand, Posey might have had to go on the disabled list for a couple months. Or if the pitch had hit Posey a couple of inches higher, in the head, then who knows what would have happened.

Things calmed down from there, thankfully. The two clubs have one more game against each other in San Francisco on Wednesday and that will be the final time they meet this season. If anything further is going to happen — and hopefully, nothing happens — then it will come tomorrow.

Straily will almost certainly be facing a suspension and a fine, as will Mattingly. It’s less clear if Rodriguez and/or Bochy will be reprimanded for throwing at Brinson, even though it was fairly obvious the pitch was intentional. Regardless, the punishments amount to just one missed start for the pitchers, which isn’t nearly enough of a detriment to deter beanball wars.