Rookie Ross Stripling, who had never pitched above Double-A, was removed after throwing 7 1/3 no-hit innings in his Major League debut for the Dodgers on Friday night, and all he had to show for it was a no-decision as Brandon Crawford homered off Joe Blanton leading off the bottom of the 10th for a 3-2 Giants win.
Stripling was lifted by manager Dave Roberts after walking Angel Pagan with his 100th pitch and replaced by Chris Hatcher to a chorus of boos from the sellout crowd at AT&T Park. The most pitches Stripling had made since 2014 Tommy John surgery was 93 last year.
On a rainy and cool night, Stripling validated the club's decision to make him the fifth starter after injuries sidelined Hyun-Jin Ryu, Brandon Beachy and Mike Bolsinger. Stripling won the job in late spring competition with Zach Lee and Carlos Frias.
The 26-year-old Stripling was backed by four hit-robbing defensive plays.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers offense strung together two-strike hits in a two-run fifth inning off Giants starter Matt Cain. Joc Pederson, after falling behind 0-2, doubled and was singled home by A.J. Ellis. With two outs, Chase Utley and Corey Seager singled on 1-2 pitches, Seager's driving in Ellis.
The Giants managed to win a game in which they collected just two hits. Both, obviously, were essential as well as surprising. Brown's homer was the first of his big league career and just his eighth in five professional seasons. Crawford victimized Blanton despite hitting only .167 (2-for-12) off the right-hander entering Friday.
"I know I haven't hit him well in the past," Crawford said. "He's mixed on me and gotten me off-balance. I haven't had a whole lot of solid contact against him, so I just wanted to be aggressive and try to put a good swing on it."
Crawford, who received his Silver Slugger Award in a pregame ceremony for being the National League's top offensive shortstop last year, wasn't fully certain that he had connected solidly enough off Blanton. But after homering 21 times in 2015, Crawford had some clue that he hit Blanton's 1-0 pitch well enough, despite stroking an opposite-field drive to left.
"I thought I had a pretty good shot," Crawford said. "If that one wasn't going out, then I'm not hitting an 'oppo' this year. I knew I hit it well."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Cain can: Giants starter Matt Cain performed capably, yielding two runs and six hits in six innings.
"It's something I want to ride into the rest of the season," Cain said.
One of his lapses in the fifth inning, when he yielded both of Los Angeles' runs, occurred against the bottom of the order. Ellis, batting .111 and hitting eighth, broke a scoreless tie by lining a one-out single to score Pederson, who led off the inning with a double.
Web gems: To keep Stripling's no-hitter intact, the Dodgers were running around on defense like crazy. Outfielders Yasiel Puig and Joc Pederson made diving catches and Scott Van Slyke made a long running one. Stripling helped himself by fielding Crawford's bunt, with first baseman Adrian Gonzalez picking the one-hopper flawlessly.
Unsung heroes: San Francisco's bullpen delivered another stingy effort as five relievers combined to allow three hits and walk one batter in four innings. Rookie left-hander Josh Osich endured the most adventurous outing, loading the bases in the eighth inning after retiring the first two hitters. Osich ended the threat by retiring Pederson on a grounder to first base.
Baez rebounds: Dodgers reliever Pedro Baez, who served up a grand slam to Hunter Pence on Thursday, struck out Pence on Friday night, one of two strikeouts Baez had in a perfect ninth inning.
QUOTABLE "I'm really proud of him, excited for the future and for what he can be as a Major League pitcher and excited to catch him going forward. On the flip side, devastated for the way this one turned out." -- Ellis on Stripling's debut
WHAT'S NEXT Dodgers:Clayton Kershaw resumes his friendly rivalry with Madison Bumgarner on Saturday in a 1:05 p.m. PT game. Kershaw, coming off seven scoreless innings in San Diego on Opening Day, is 16-7 with a 1.54 ERA in 30 career starts against the Giants and 9-3 with a 1.16 ERA in 14 starts at AT&T Park.
Giants: San Francisco's offense has yet to find consistency, scoring 12 runs in a game twice and mustering eight in the other three. The Giants likely will struggle to regain their equilibrium in Saturday's 1:05 p.m. PT contest against Kershaw, who has thrived against them throughout his career.