On most nights, 10 strikeouts and no walks by Clayton Kershaw would be enough to ensure the Los Angeles Dodgers a victory.
Not with Madison Bumgarner on the mound for the San Francisco Giants.
The Dodgers lost 2-1 on Monday night to drop out of the NL West lead and spoiled a solid outing by the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner.
Kershaw (11-7) gave up two runs and six hits in eight innings as his four-game winning streak ended. He even tried to help himself with two singles and a backhanded diving catch of Gregor Blanco's pop-up bunt in foul territory near the first base line in the third.
It wasn't enough since the Dodgers couldn't muster decent run support for their ace.
"When he pitches like that, you've got to win those games," catcher A.J. Ellis said. "He was outstanding once again, and he's getting stronger as the year goes on. We feel like every time he goes to the mound, it's a great chance to win. He's one of the top pitchers in all of baseball for a reason, and he showed it again."
The Dodgers' two-game winning streak ended with Matt Kemp hitless in four at-bats with a strikeout, and Andre Ethier going 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. He reached on a fielding error by Pablo Sandoval in the seventh.
"Anytime you play the Giants, obviously it's a big game, especially right now when we're right in the middle of a pennant race," Kershaw said. "But losing (stinks) no matter what. And tonight didn't feel any better, that's for sure."
Bumgarner scattered four hits over eight scoreless innings and Sandoval drove in both runs for the Giants, who overtook the second-place Dodgers by a half-game in the division.
"Those were a couple of pretty good lefties out there," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "It's frustrating for all of us. When you get an outing like that, you want to get a win. Kershaw made pitches all night and threw the ball really well, but we just didn't give him any runs."
Bumgarner pitched his second scoreless outing of the season for the Giants, who have won six of their last nine games and 11 of 17. Bumgarner (14-7) struck out 10 and walked none to even his road record at 6-6.
"Both guys had great stuff," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Both guys were aggressive."
Javier Lopez got the final out in the ninth to earn his second save in four chances after Hanley Ramirez homered with two out in the inning against Sergio Romo, preventing what would have been the Giants' fourth shutout of the season against the Dodgers.
Sandoval's sacrifice fly in the first inning scored the Giants' first run. His two-out single to short left field in the sixth scored Angel Pagan, who beat Ellis' tag to make it 2-0. Buster Posey went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts and manager Bruce Bochy said before the game that the catcher might either start at first base on Tuesday or get the day off.
Notes: The Giants have won 12 of their last 17 road games since the All-Star break. ... Mattingly returned from serving a two-game suspension for arguing with umpires last Thursday in Pittsburgh. ... Kershaw went at least eight innings in consecutive starts for the first time this season. ... Bumgarner improved to 3-1 in five career starts at Dodger Stadium. ... Bumgarner's other scoreless outing was a one-hitter against Cincinnati on June 28, which he won 5-0. ... Three-time Olympic beach volleyball gold medalist Misty May-Treanor received a standing ovation when she was introduced between innings. Her husband, Dodgers catcher Matt Treanor, got congratulatory pats on the back from his teammates in the dugout.