SAN FRANCISCO — The Los Angeles Dodgers will be making a lot longer trip than they hoped to begin the playoffs.
Ace Clayton Kershaw got outpitched by rookie Ty Blach and the NL West champion Dodgers lost to the San Francisco Giants 3-0 Saturday, costing them a chance at home-field advantage in the Division Series.
Los Angeles has lost four of five since clinching their fourth straight division title.
Rather than commuting from their homes to Dodger Stadium, the LA contingent will open the best-of-five playoffs at NL East champion Washington.
“We’re on a little bit of a slide here but we’re still in good position,” manager Dave Roberts said.
Kershaw (12-4) gave up three runs, two of them unearned, in seven innings. He gave up a home run to Angel Pagan in the fifth to break a scoreless tie.
“They were swinging from the get-go,” Kershaw said. “I made a few dumb pitches, a few I shouldn’t have thrown. Probably caught too much of the plate on a few. Overall it was kind of a frustrating day.”
Kershaw is set to pitch the playoff opener in Washington.
The Dodgers-Giants result was posted on the videoboard at Nationals Park in the seventh inning while Washington played Miami. It was announced that the Nationals had clinched the home field, and the crowd responded with a standing ovation.
The Giants stayed one game ahead of St. Louis for the second NL wild-card slot. The Cardinals beat visiting Pittsburgh 4-3 earlier in the day.
Matt Moore will start for the Giants on Sunday, and a win — or St. Louis loss — puts them in the playoffs. The New York Mets will host the NL wild-card game on Wednesday night.
Blach (1-0) earned his first big league victory, pitching eight innings of three-hit ball. He struck out six and walked one in his second start in the majors, and also got his first two hits.
This was the fourth game in the majors for Blach since the 25-year-old lefty made his major league debut in September.
“That’s one of the best pitching performances I’ve seen, with this kid having a month in the major leagues, the stage he was on, what’s at stake, who he was going against,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “He just had great focus and great command. This kid was locked in.”
Sergio Romo pitched a hitless ninth for his fourth save.
One day after gaining national attention for body-slamming a fan who had run onto the field, Pagan hit a 1-1 pitch from Kershaw into the left-field stands. It was Pagan’s 12th home run of the season and his first off Kershaw in 68 career at-bats.
The Dodgers were limited to three singles and got only one runner to second base.
Blach got Joc Pederson to ground into an inning-ending double play in the second after the Dodgers put two on, struck out the side looking in the third and retired 11 straight during one stretch.
Los Angeles third baseman Justin Turner also committed a throwing error in the seventh when the Giants scored a pair of unearned runs off Kershaw.
Kershaw retired 12 of the first 13 before Pagan’s one-out homer leading off the fifth.
Dodgers: Kenta Maeda (16-10) pitches the finale at AT&T Park on Sunday. The right-hander is unbeaten in three career starts against San Francisco.
Giants: Moore (12-12) faces the Dodgers after matching his career-high of 11 strikeouts against Colorado in his previous start.