Dodgers end 11-game losing streak with 5-3 win over Giants

  • Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws to a Francisco Giants batter during the first inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws to a Francisco Giants batter during the first inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) throws against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) throws against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • San Francisco Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto throws to a Los Angeles Dodgers batter during the second inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    San Francisco Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto throws to a Los Angeles Dodgers batter during the second inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig, right, is tagged by San Francisco Giants catcher Nick Hundley after striking out during the first inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig, right, is tagged by San Francisco Giants catcher Nick Hundley after striking out during the first inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig, right, is tagged by San Francisco Giants catcher Nick Hundley after striking out during the first inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig, right, is tagged by San Francisco Giants catcher Nick Hundley after striking out during the first inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig walks to the dugout after striking out against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig walks to the dugout after striking out against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • San Francisco Giants’ Kelby Tomlinson, right, is congratulated by Johnny Cueto after hitting a solo home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the third inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    San Francisco Giants’ Kelby Tomlinson, right, is congratulated by Johnny Cueto after hitting a solo home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the third inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw walks in front of the mound after allowing a home run to San Francisco Giants’ Kelby Tomlinson, rear, during the third inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw walks in front of the mound after allowing a home run to San Francisco Giants’ Kelby Tomlinson, rear, during the third inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • San Francisco Giants’ Kelby Tomlinson, right, crosses the plate next to Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal after hitting a solo home run during the third inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    San Francisco Giants’ Kelby Tomlinson, right, crosses the plate next to Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal after hitting a solo home run during the third inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig, right, hits a two-run double in front of San Francisco Giants catcher Nick Hundley during the fourth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig, right, hits a two-run double in front of San Francisco Giants catcher Nick Hundley during the fourth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig watches his two-run double against the San Francisco Giants during the fourth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig watches his two-run double against the San Francisco Giants during the fourth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, left, slides safely into third base next to San Francisco Giants’ Orlando Calixte during the fourth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, left, slides safely into third base next to San Francisco Giants’ Orlando Calixte during the fourth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, right, slides safely into third base next to San Francisco Giants’ Orlando Calixte during the fourth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, right, slides safely into third base next to San Francisco Giants’ Orlando Calixte during the fourth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Curtis Granderson, left, celebrates after Cody Bellinger, center, and Chris Taylor (3) both scored on Yasiel Puig’s two-run double against the San Francisco Giants during the fourth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Curtis Granderson, left, celebrates after Cody Bellinger, center, and Chris Taylor (3) both scored on Yasiel Puig’s two-run double against the San Francisco Giants during the fourth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chase Utley (26) is congratulated after hitting a solo home run against the San Francisco Giants during the fourth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chase Utley (26) is congratulated after hitting a solo home run against the San Francisco Giants during the fourth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chase Utley (26) is congratulated after hitting a solo home run against the San Francisco Giants during the fourth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chase Utley (26) is congratulated after hitting a solo home run against the San Francisco Giants during the fourth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig (66) reacts after hitting two-run double against the San Francisco Giants during the fourth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig (66) reacts after hitting two-run double against the San Francisco Giants during the fourth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • San Francisco Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto walks to the dugout after being relieved during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    San Francisco Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto walks to the dugout after being relieved during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • San Francisco Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto, left, walks off the mound after being taken out for a relief pitcher by manager Bruce Bochy, center, during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. At right is Giants catcher Nick Hundley. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    San Francisco Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto, left, walks off the mound after being taken out for a relief pitcher by manager Bruce Bochy, center, during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. At right is Giants catcher Nick Hundley. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) throws against the San Francisco Giants during the sixth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) throws against the San Francisco Giants during the sixth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) reacts after striking out San Francisco Giants’ Tim Federowicz to end the seventh inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) reacts after striking out San Francisco Giants’ Tim Federowicz to end the seventh inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) reacts after striking out San Francisco Giants’ Tim Federowicz to end the sixth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

    Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) reacts after striking out San Francisco Giants’ Tim Federowicz to end the sixth inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

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SAN FRANCISCO – Breathe. In. Out.

The Dodgers’ 17-game out-of-body experience finally came to an end Tuesday night – they hope – with a white-knuckler of a 5-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants.

The win ended an 11-game losing streak, the longest since the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1958, and was only their second in the past 18 games (both started by Clayton Kershaw).

Coupled with an Arizona Diamondbacks loss, the Dodgers’ magic number to clinch the NL West dropped to eight. They could clinch a playoff spot as early as Wednesday.

They have known only black magic over the past 2½ weeks. The first signs that the baseball gods might have grown bored and went off to torment others came in the third inning when miscommunication between right fielder Hunter Pence and second baseman Joe Panik allowed Yasiel Puig’s pop up to fall for a double.

It was not time yet, though.

Yasmani Grandal struck out with the bases loaded to end that inning and the Dodgers had stranded seven runners on base in the first three innings. Three pitches later, the Giants’ No. 8 hitter Kelby Tomlinson – 0 for 14 with six strikeouts previously against Kershaw and without a home run off anyone since 2015 – hit a home run. That put the Dodgers on the wrong end of the score just three innings into a game for the 11th time in the past 18.

But Chase Utley tied the game with a solo home run leading off the fourth and the Dodgers received another gift double when left fielder Austin Slater lost Kershaw’s drive in the lights. Kershaw let out a primal scream when he reached second base. It would not be his last of the night.

More help awaited. Kershaw bolted for third on a ground ball to Tomlinson at short and was safe when the throw pulled Pablo Sandoval wide of the base.

Kershaw scored on a sacrifice fly by Corey Seager, giving the Dodgers the lead. Puig’s two-out, two-run double gave them more than that – reason to breathe deeply without it catching in their throat for the first time in at least a week.

There were more positive signs in the bottom of the fourth when a replay review went their way after terrific plays by Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor threw Nick Hundley out trying to score from second on a single through the middle.

Kershaw was under duress again in the sixth and surrendered an unearned run before striking out pinch-hitter Tim Federowicz to strand the tying runs. That prompted Kershaw’s final roar of the night.

He gave up eight hits in six innings and had runners on base in four of them but held the Giants to 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position. It was not Kershaw’s usual man-handling of the Giants but it was what the Dodgers needed after watching their starting pitchers post a 6.54 ERA over the previous 17 games.

The Giants briefly made it a one-run game in the seventh but Turner drove in an insurance run with a double in the eighth.

With the tying run at the plate in the bottom of the eighth, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts asked closer Kenley Jansen for a four-out save. It was the first time Roberts had turned to Jansen in the eighth inning of a game since July 23 – Jansen’s only blown save of the season.

Singles put the tying and winning runs on base with one out in the ninth – one a ground ball off Jansen’s leg, another a swinging bunt that died on the grass short of the mound. But Jansen struck out Buster Posey with the bases loaded and ended the losing by doing the same to Nick Hundley.

More to come on this story.

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