for this game

Kershaw tames Giants in series finale

Jul 21, 2011 - 1:55 AM San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - When opposing Los Angeles southpaw Clayton Kershaw, even one mistake can prove costly. Giants ace Tim Lincecum learned that lesson Wednesday afternoon.

Kershaw struck out a season-high 12 batters over eight brilliant innings as the Dodgers avoided a three-game sweep with a 1-0 victory at AT&T Park.

The aforementioned mistake? A home run by Dioner Navarro to lead off the seventh inning. It was just one of five hits given up by Lincecum (8-8), who fanned seven and walked four while pitching into the eighth inning.

Kershaw (11-4) scattered three singles -- two by San Francisco catcher Chris Stewart -- and issued one walk. Javy Guerra worked a perfect ninth to notch his sixth save of the season and snap the Dodgers' losing streak against the National League West leaders at six games.

"For us right now, any win we can get is big. We've floundered around for too long," said Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly.

The NL West-leading Giants haven't won seven in a row in this series since a 12-game run from October 2, 1937-July 4, 1938, when both clubs were based in New York.

"This game is pretty close to what I expected," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "We just came out on the wrong end. Timmy threw great. Kershaw was on top of his game."

Wednesday's series finale was a rematch of an Opening Day duel between Lincecum and Kershaw. Lincecum was the hard-luck loser as well in that March 31 encounter at Dodger Stadium, a 2-1 victory by the hosts.

The right-hander's lone hiccup Wednesday came when Navarro launched a 1-0 pitch down the right field line and into McCovey Cove.

Although he belted the decisive home run, Navarro committed throwing errors on stolen bases with two outs in each of the first two innings. But Cody Ross struck out and Brandon Crawford grounded out to end the threats.

Game Notes

Kershaw recorded 10-plus strikeouts for the sixth time this season. He entered the game with an MLB-best 155 K's...Jeff Keppinger, who was obtained from the Houston Astros for a pair of minor league pitchers on Tuesday, made his Giants debut, flying out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh...San Francisco fell to 26-13 in one-run games, including 19-5 at home...Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval was not in Wednesday's starting lineup. He did pinch-hit in the ninth...The Dodgers fired hitting coach Jeff Pentland before Wednesday's game. Dave Hansen inherited the job on an interim basis for the remainder of the season.