LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers got a hard-fought win in the first chapter of their rivalry series with the San Francisco Giants this season.
And everybody on both teams last year learned just how important every single victory can be when these two powerhouses tangle.
Chris Taylor had an early two-run single, Julio Urías pitched six scoreless innings of four-hit ball and the Dodgers hung on for a 3-1 victory over the Giants on Tuesday night.
Carlos Rodón tossed six innings of three-hit ball, but took his first loss for the Giants in the first of 19 much-anticipated meetings between the California archrivals this season.
“I’m expecting 18 more good games,” said Taylor, a key figure in this rivalry since 2017. “Every time we step on the field with them, it seems like it comes down to the last out. The crowd was awesome. It’s exciting playing in this rivalry.”
The games will have to be tremendously exciting to top last season’s series, which was among the best in the 133-season history of this bicoastal rivalry.
These clubs won a combined 213 games last season, with the 107-win Giants going 10-9 against LA — and ending the 106-win Dodgers’ eight-year reign in the NL West by that one victory.
Los Angeles then edged San Francisco in a thrilling five-game Division Series, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts could tell his team was drained by that effort before its NLCS loss to Atlanta.
Hanser Alberto doubled and scored in the eighth inning for Los Angeles, which won for the third time in four games despite a hair-raising ninth. New closer Craig Kimbrel walked Wilmer Flores and gave up a two-out bunt single to Luis González before getting Luke Williams to ground into a forceout, earning his fifth save.
“It’s going to be a good matchup all year long,” Kimbrel said…