What we learned in Giants' gut-punch loss to Dodgers


LOS ANGELES -- The Giants seemed to catch an odd break in the middle innings on Tuesday night. Justin Turner and Max Muncy got drilled in succession by Alex Wood early on, and as they stiffened up, both Dodgers stars came out of the game. 

Both of their spots came up against Tyler Rogers in the ninth inning, which is where the Giants caught the break. They couldn't take advantage. 

Will Smith, hitting in Muncy's spot, hit a three-run homer off Rogers to stun the Giants, who jumped out to a big lead but lost 8-6 when Rogers collapsed with a one-run lead. The Giants were three outs away from taking a three-game lead in the NL West and becoming the first team in baseball to 60 wins. Instead, they staggered off with just a one-run advantage and the knowledge that they still can be caught in this series. 

The Giants led 6-1 on the strength of four homers and turned a 6-5 lead over to Rogers, who escaped a similar fate earlier this season when Mike Tauchman robbed Albert Pujols. He walked Chris Taylor, who already had homered twice, on four pitches to open the ninth. He went 2-0 on Matt Beaty before Andrew Bailey came out for a mound visit and then walked him anyway. Smith got a hanging slider and crushed it 419 feet to end the game. 

The Giants Also Hit Dingers

With their four homers, the Giants passed the Toronto Blue Jays and once again moved into first in the Majors. They entered the day leading the Majors by having 52.3 percent of their runs scored off homers and that's all they did against a couple of Dodgers rookies. 

Lefty Darien Nunez was the opener and got stunned by Alex Dickerson, who crushed a no-doubter to right that was just his third big league homer against a lefty. Dickerson took Franklin Morales deep in 2016 and got Phillip Diehl last season. He hasn't even faced that many lefties as a Giant, but Kapler didn't want to alter his lineup, knowing Nunez would give way to Josiah Gray.

Gray, the top pitching prospect in the Dodgers' organization, showed off good stuff and had some good stretches. But he also gave up solo homers to LaMonte Wade Jr. and Thairo Estrada, as well as a two-run shot by Mike Yastrzemski. 

The four-homer game was the seventh of the season by the Giants and ninth under Kapler and this new staff. They had 10 total from 2016-2019.

More On The Dingers

What was so amazing about this latest barrage was that it came from players who were picked up off the scrap heap by this front office. Yastrzemski and Dickerson have become fixtures after getting acquired in heists, and Wade Jr. and Estrada stand out as two of the better additions of the last calendar year. 

Here's everything the Giants gave up to get those four: Shaun Anderson, Tyler Herb, Franklin Van Gurp and cash considerations. 

RELATED: 'Thumbs up' for Posey after strong return to Giants' lineup

Facing Old Friends

Wood won a title with the Dodgers last year, but he found a better opportunity to start in San Francisco, and they needed every out he could give on Tuesday. The bullpen soaked up six innings on Monday night, and Kapler admitted in the afternoon that there were some guys he had to stay away from. 

Wood twice put two runners on but got out of both jams. He gave up two runs in the first five innings and had a long conversation with Kapler after the fifth. Wood came back out for the sixth and walked leadoff batter Cody Bellinger, which ended his night. Bellinger came around to score, so Wood finished the night with a 3.77 ERA. 

It was a solid night for Wood given the opponent, although he might get kicked out of a few group chats. The Turner and Muncy injuries had a big impact on the end of the game.

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