SAN FRANCISCO — Even when they were the worst team in the league earlier this season, the Giants had success against the Dodgers. On the fourth night of their resurgence, they pulled away early.
The Giants scored four in the fourth and kept tacking on, winning 8-4 in the first game of a big three-game set at AT&T Park. A day after clinching their first three-game winning streak of the season, they pushed it to four.
As he did April 24 — a much different time for the team — Matt Cain dominated the Dodgers. He gave up one run over 6 2/3, walking off to a standing ovation.
The Giants had everything tilting their way early. Cain put six runners on in the first four innings but benefited from two strange double plays. With the leadoff runner on in the second, Chase Utley smoked a ball right at first baseman Brandon Belt, who stepped on the bag for two. Cain walked Utley with one out in the fourth and he got a good jump on a stolen base attempt. Chris Taylor’s bouncer up the middle went right to a covering Brandon Crawford, who stepped on second and threw over for an easy double play.
A Corey Seager single and Yasmani Grandal double got the Dodgers on the board in the third, but the Giants tied it against Brandon McCarthy in the bottom of the inning. Mac Williamson lined a single to right and went to second on a bunt. He scored when Denard Span’s two-out bloop landed in shallow left.
There was no luck involved with the way the fourth started. Belt and Buster Posey singled and Crawford lined a double down the right-field line, giving the Giants the lead. Then the Dodgers melted down.
With two runners in scoring position, Eduardo Nuñez hit a broken-bat bouncer up the middle. When Seager fielded it on the grass and tossed it back to McCarthy, Crawford was hung up halfway between third and home and Nuñez was headed for second. McCarthy didn't see Crawford and he threw to second, where Nuñez slid in safely. Crawford jogged across the plate. Nuñez would score on a sacrifice fly, making it 5-1.
Starting pitching report: Cain became the 12th pitcher in franchise history to reach 2,000 innings with the Giants. He came into the night at 1,997. He threw 112 pitches, his most since 2014.
Bullpen report: Bochy turned to Bryan Morris with one of Cain’s runners on in the seventh. He struck out Scott Van Slyke to end the inning.
At the plate: Posey went deep to left in the seventh for his fifth homer in seven games.
In the field: After a weekend spent writing about Crawnik, a nod to Belt, who saved a couple of wayward throws Monday.
Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 41,397 human beings who got to jam to Usher in the seventh.
Up next: A battle of lefties. Ty Blach takes on Rich Hill, who is coming off the disabled list (blister).