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Clayton Kershaw leads Los Angeles Dodgers past San Francisco Giants, Tim Lincecum 1-0
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ' Clayton Kershaw was one pitch better than Tim Lincecum in a matchup of All-Star aces, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers past the San Francisco Giants 1-0 Wednesday.
Kershaw (11-4) allowed three hits in eight innings to help the Dodgers snap a four-game losing streak and six overall to the rival Giants. He struck out 12 to improve his major-league lead to 167 this season.
Dioner Nivarro's solo home run off Lincecum (8-8) landed in McCovey Cove and was the only pop Los Angeles showed on a day hitting coach Jeff Pentland was fired. Dave Hansen was promoted on an interim basis for the rest of the season.
Javy Guerra pitched a perfect ninth for his sixth save.
Lincecum allowed five hits in seven-plus innings in another solid start with little run support. He struck out seven and walked four.
San Francisco's shaggy-haired righty seemed in control on a day he had to be at his dominating best.
Giants All-Star third baseman Pablo Sandoval didn't start because of tightness in his right quadriceps and right fielder Nate Scheirholtz was given the day off. The retooled lineup didn't give Lincecum much room for error.
All it took was one pitch to wash away an otherwise solid start.
Navarro became the 24th opposing player to hit a home run into McCovey Cove, taking a 1-0 pitch off Lincecum over the right-field wall in the seventh. It was the fourth time Lincecum gave up a splash shot in his career, and the eighth time this season he walked off the mound with his team held scoreless.
And all the support Los Angeles' ace needed.
The Dodgers committed three errors with some sloppy defense, getting bailed out by Kershaw each time. Nivarro twice threw into center field trying to throw out a runner at second only to have Kershaw strand them at third in the first two innings.
Second baseman Jamey Carroll couldn't corral a hard-hit ball by Brandon Belt in the fourth, and the Giants rookie hustled into second. Then Kershaw got Emmanuel Burriss to ground out and end the inning, and San Francisco never got closer.
NOTES: The Giants optioned C Hector Sanchez to Triple-A Fresno to make room for 2B Jeff Keppinger, who they acquired in a trade with Houston on Tuesday. Keppinger's flight was delayed and he arrived late. He flied out to left in the seventh and stayed in to play second. ... Injured Giants C Buster Posey made an appearance in the clubhouse before the game. He was still pushing himself around in a makeshift scooter that supports his reconstructed left ankle. ... The game was the first time this season the Dodgers had three errors. The last came May 25, 2010, in a 3-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs. Kershaw was the starting pitcher that day.