Giants edge Dodgers 1-0 on Longoria homer

Tuesday, October 12, 2021
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San Francisco Giants’ Evan Longoria hits a solo home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the fifth inning of Game 3 of a baseball National League Division Series, Monday, Oct. 11, 2021, in Los Angeles. AP PHOTO

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Evan Longoria powered a home run off Max Scherzer through fierce wind. Chris Taylor and pinch-hitter Gavin Lux fell short, putting the defending World Series champions on the brink of elimination.

Longoria’s shot in the fifth inning held up, giving the Giants a 1-0 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on a cold, blustery Monday night with conditions more akin to San Francisco. The Giants took a 2-1 lead in the NL Division Series.

“I don’t remember a lot of nights at Dodger Stadium where the wind was blowing like that,” said San Francisco manager Gabe Kapler, who grew up in Los Angeles. “Super strange.”

The gusty winds whipped the flags in center field and even caused Scherzer to stumble delivering an early pitch.

“The wind was really pushing me towards home plate,” said Scherzer, who lost a postseason game he started for the first time since Oct. 12, 2017, against the Chicago Cubs.

Los Angeles nearly tied it with two outs in the ninth, when Lux launched a long drive to left-center with an exit velocity of 107 mph and an estimated batting average of .890, according to Statcast. But the wind knocked it down and the ball was caught on the warning track, leaving Lux in disbelief.

“My stomach pretty much sank when he hit it. I couldn’t believe that it didn’t go,” Longoria said. “I guess it was our night.”

Taylor flied out to deep right-center with a runner on in the sixth.

“I think any other night the CT ball, the Gavin Lux ball, would have been home runs, yeah,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

It was the Giants’ second shutout in the best-of-five playoff after winning the opener 4-0.

Game 4 is Tuesday at Dodger Stadium and Game 5 would be in San Francisco on Thursday, if necessary.

The Dodgers routed their longtime rivals 9-2 to win Game 2, but mustered just five hits back at home. NL batting champion Trea Turner and Mookie Betts each went 0 for 4, and Corey Seager was 0 for 4 with a walk. “I thought we took some

“I thought we took some good at-bats and we just didn’t get rewarded,” Roberts said.

Longoria broke out of an 0-for-23 slump in a big way with his leadoff shot on an 0-2 pitch to left-center. It was his first postseason homer since the 2013 ALDS with Tampa Bay.

“Just this environment ... this is crazy,” Longoria said. “What a wild night, too — the wind. I mean, I think that the sound in here was kind of dampened by the wind.”

After the home run, Scherzer retired his final six batters. But the Dodgers lost for the first time in his 13 starts with the team since being acquired from Washington at the July 30 trade deadline.

“You get to the postseason, you can always lose by one pitch. That comes into play. Tonight I lost it on one pitch,” Scherzer said.

The Giants’ other two hits were singles by Buster Posey and Kris Bryant. Their final 15 batters were retired, including in the ninth when Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen struck out the side.

San Francisco starter Alex Wood allowed two hits over 4 2/3 innings against his former team. The left-hander struck out four and walked two.

Tyler Rogers got the win with 1 2/3 innings of relief. Rookie right-hander Camilo Doval pitched two perfect innings for the save.

Napkins, peanut bags and plastic bags blew on the warning track and through the stands. A dusty haze obliterated the usual picturesque view of the San Gabriel Mountains and kept a pregame flyover from being seen except on the videoboard. A fan’s white cap came flying out of the stands and landed on the field in the second inning.

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