Dodgers rout Giants 9-3 to extend NL West lead to 6 games

San Francisco Giants second baseman Joe Panik can't reach a ball hit for a single by Los Angeles Dodgers' Howie Kendrick during the first inning of a baseball game, Sept. 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Yasiel Puig is making his mark against left-handed pitching while helping the Dodgers in a major way.

The Cuban outfielder's three-run homer highlighted a five-run first inning in a 9-3 rout of the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night, extending the Dodgers' NL West lead to six games with 10 remaining.

"It's nice to have that separation," third baseman Justin Turner said, "but nothing is certain until that number is zero. The important thing is to stay hot and build some momentum as you're rolling into the playoffs."

Puig is doing just that against lefties. He has four home runs and two walks against them since returning from the minor leagues earlier this month. He's started all six games in September against lefties, who have given the Dodgers fits this season.

"He's done some things mechanically," manager Dave Roberts said. "When he elevates the ball with his strength good thing are going to happen. He's getting to a lot of pitches he wasn't prior."

The Dodgers beat left-hander Madison Bumgarner 2-1 in Monday's series opener and got to fellow lefty Matt Moore (11-12) early.

"It was good for us to break out," Roberts said.

Puig is batting .333 (6 for 16) with eight RBI in seven games at home since being recalled on Sept. 2.

"That's the guy we all know he can be," Turner said. "He's an exciting player on both sides of the ball. We knew he could be a game-changer for us."

The Dodgers pounded out 12 hits in taking two of three from the rival Giants, who remained tied in the NL wild-card race after both the Mets and Cardinals lost earlier. The Dodgers conclude the regular season with three games at San Francisco next week.

Kenta Maeda (16-9) allowed two runs - one earned - and three hits in five innings while improving to 4-0 against the Giants this season. The right-hander struck out six and walked one in making his 30th start of the season for just the second time in his career. Maeda is one win from tying Rick Sutcliffe's record by a rookie set in 1979.

Moore gave up six runs and seven hits in one inning, walked one and struck out none in a messy outing for the left-hander who had pitched exceptionally well at Dodger Stadium.

"It was a bad day to have a bad day," he said. "There was a lot of small stuff going on."

Moore was one out away from throwing his first career no-hitter on Aug. 25 in Los Angeles when Corey Seager broke it up with a single. He previously held the Dodgers to just one unearned run in 15 1/3 innings.

"He was making a lot of mistakes and we made them pay," outfielder Kike Hernandez said. "Last time he was making every pitch."

After two close games, including a 2-0 loss Tuesday, the Dodgers put the game away early.

They took a 5-1 lead in the bottom of that inning on Puig's 11th homer and RBI singles by Adrian Gonzalez and Maeda.

They made it 6-2 in the second on Turner's sacrifice fly. Howie Kendrick doubled in two more runs with two outs in the third. The Dodgers added another run on pinch-hitter Andrew Toles' RBI double in the sixth.

The Giants' runs came on Angel Pagan's RBI single in the first, Ehire Adrianza's homer in the second and Brandon Belt's RBI single in the sixth.
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