Benches empty but Dodgers win 4-2 to reduce magic number to one

Written By kolimtiga on Rabu, 24 September 2014 | 12.56

Think the Dodgers-Giants rivalry is dead? A memory for the elderly? Forget about it. Yasiel Puig and Madison Bumgarner are crafting a whole new chapter.

The two jarred again, had to be separated by homeplate umpire Adrian Johnson and catcher Buster Posey and had the benches and bullpens empting.

No punches were thrown, no one was ejected and no love was lost.

This all transpired in the bottom of the first, the Dodgers using the energy to score three runs and then hold on behind Zack Greinke for a 4-2 victory before a Dodger Stadium crowd of 49,251.

The victory reduced the Dodgers' magic number for clinching the National League West to one game. If Clayton Kershaw beats the Giants Wednesday, the division is theirs.

All the offense for the Dodgers came via a pair of home runs from Justin Turner and a two-run homer by Matt Kemp.

Nearly all the juice to Tuesday's game for the Dodgers came in the bottom of the first. Turner started the excitement by leading off with a solo home run.

Puig was the next batter and Bumgarner hit him on the left ankle with a 1-2 slider. Puig, one of three Dodgers hit by a pitch Monday night, fell to the ground trying to avoid the pitch and then sat there on his derriere for a bit with his back to Bumgarner, before glancing over his shoulder.

Bumgarner might have said something unpleasant at this point, because Puig suddenly jumped up, spun around, started yelling and coming toward the left-hander.

Johnson and Posey both got in front of Puig to head him off.

But the two continued yelling at each other, Bumgarner at one point throwing down his glove and appearing to scream something like, "Come, on. Let's go!"

These are serious heavyweights. Bumgarner is 6-feet-5 and 235-pounds, Puig 6-feet-3 and 235 pounds.

By now both benches and bullpens had sprinted onto the field. Manager Don Mattingly got to Puig and walked him away from the swelling scrum and to first base. Things calmed, order was restored and Johnson warned both benches.

There is some history between the two, of course.

Back on May 9 at Dodger Stadium Puig hit a solo home run off Bumgarner. The left-hander apparently took exception to Puig's bat flip or less-than-sprint around the bases -- he never did say -- and came off the mound and near the third base line to scream at him as he ran by.

Puig yelled back and there was more emptying of benches, but still no punches.

The confrontation must have pumped up birthday boy Kemp -- celebrating his 30th -- who then slugged a two-run homer out to center to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead.

The Giants pulled to within a run in the third when Bumgarner, a good-hitting pitcher, slugged a two-run homer. It was Bumgarner's fourth of the season and he pumped a fist as he saw it go over the left-center wall.

Meanwhile on the mound, Bumgarner (18-10) quickly reverted to being the Giants' ace. He allowed only one more hit after the first, retiring 19 of the next 20 Dodgers before Turner hit his second solo home run with one out in the eighth.

Turner, who came to camp as a non-roster invitee, is finishing off a career year. He now has seven home runs and 41 RBI on the season. He is hitting .333.

But Greinke was pretty much doing the same for the Dodgers. He retired 16 of his last 17 batters. Greinke (16-8) went eight innings, holding the Giants to the two runs on six hits. He struck out five and did not walk a batter.

Kenley Jansen, pitching in his third consecutive game, held the Giants scoreless in the ninth to earn his 44th save.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times

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