SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The Dodgers rallied once, twice and then a third time. Manager Dave Roberts thought his club would snap out of its long losing streak at last.
The National League-leading Dodgers lost their 11th straight game for the longest skid since the club moved to Los Angeles, finishing their 8-6 defeat to the San Francisco Giants at 2:10 a.m. local time Tuesday morning after a pair of rain and lightning delays late Monday.
“It’s disappointing because our guys played hard tonight, they really did,” Roberts said. “I thought that we were going to win that game. I thought we put ourselves in a position to win but we couldn’t hold the lead.”
Hunter Pence hit a go-ahead single in the sixth for San Francisco against Pedro Baez (3-5).
Following a 42-minute delay ahead of first pitch, Curtis Granderson struck out against Chris Stratton, then the game immediately entered an even longer delay — this time for 2 hours, 52 minutes, before resuming at 10:50 p.m. local time.
The total delay time of 3:34 was more than the game time of 3:22. Roberts said his preference would have been a doubleheader but he understood it as a league decision, saying “it was out of our hands.”
“This is obviously very uncharacteristic to start a game this late,” he said.
Los Angeles, which has lost 16 of 17 overall, had its lead atop the NL over idle Washington trimmed to 3 1/2 games. The Dodgers travel to play the Nationals next.
The skid topped a pair of 10-game losing streaks in L.A. from 1961 and ’92. The 1944 Brooklyn team lost 16 straight games. L.A. held a season-best 21-game division lead for four days and as recently as Aug. 25, but that has dwindled to nine games over Arizona.
“It’s disappointing every time you lose,” shortstop Corey Seager said. “I thought tonight was better. We came back, got back in the game a couple times. Unfortunately we didn’t win. Just got to get back to winning, that’s about it. Nothing else about that.”
An announcement came on the scoreboard during a fourth-inning pitching change: The final BART trains would leave downtown locations at 12:20 a.m. “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch came at 1:25 a.m.
And one devoted — or call it crazy — kayaker stayed out in the cove in his craft trying to retrieve baseballs into the wee hours. A hardy group of loyal fans stayed until the final out.
“In my mind I didn’t think we were going to be playing tonight, once it started to get around 9:45,” Giants center fielder Denard Span said. “… Then we came out here and tried to battle our butts off.”
Ty Law (4-1) pitched the sixth for the win.
Yasiel Puig homered in the fifth and Los Angeles came back from down 4-0 but couldn’t hold it.
Span splashed a two-run homer into McCovey Cove in the bottom of the first inning against Kenta Maeda. Span batted third for just the fourth time in his career and first this year as manager Bruce Bochy shook up his lineup after San Francisco was outscored 21-2 the past two games at the White Sox. It was his fifth career home run into McCovey Cove beyond the right-field wall.
Jarrett Parker homered leading off the second for San Francisco.
Once the game resumed, Ty Blach was on the mound and Stratton’s day was done — the shortest start of his career.
Sam Dyson, San Francisco’s seventh reliever, pitched the ninth for his 13th save.
Right-hander Ryan Vogelsong will retire as a Giant on Sunday, when he will take the AT&T Park mound once more as San Francisco honors him.
The 40-year-old Vogelsong was drafted by the Giants in the fifth round of the 1998 amateur draft and made his major league debut in their waterfront ballpark on Sept. 2, 2000, finishing his 12-year career 61-75 with a 4.81 ERA while pitching two stints each for San Francisco and Pittsburgh.
“He’s done some great things for us, for the Giants,” Bochy said. “We’re trying to do something special for him.”
Dodgers: With Hyun-Jin Ryu being skipped in the rotation during the San Francisco series for extra rest, he was set to throw a simulated game of four or five innings Tuesday.
Giants: 1B Brandon Belt is unlikely to play again this season because of a concussion and is still unable to do baseball activities. “I would be surprised at this point,” Bochy said.
LHP Clayton Kershaw (16-3, 2.15 ERA) makes his third start for the Dodgers since coming off the disabled list with a lower back strain, having gone 20-9 with a 1.62 ERA in in 39 career games and 38 starts against San Francisco. Kershaw lasted just 3 2/3 innings in his last start against Colorado on Sept. 7. RHP Johnny Cueto (7-7, 4.43) also makes his third start since coming off the DL.
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