Los Angeles nearly tied with two strikeouts in the ninth, when pinch hitter Gavin Lux threw up a long drive to the center-left. But the wind knocked him over and the bullet was caught on the warning lane, leaving Lux in disbelief.
Chris Taylor flew to the center, but that ball was also caught.
“I think any other night the CT ball, the Gavin Lux ball, would have been home runs, yeah,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
It was the Giants’ second best-of-five playoff shutout after winning the opener 4-0.
Game 4 takes place on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium, where the Giants can take out the defending World Series champions. Game 5 would take place in San Francisco on Thursday, if necessary.
The Dodgers beat longtime rivals 9-2 to win Game 2, but only managed five hits at home. Newfoundland and Labrador batting champion Trea Turner and Mookie Betts each got 0 for 4, and Corey Seager went 0 for 4 with a walk.
“I thought we took some good hitting at the bat and just weren’t rewarded,” said Roberts.
Longoria came out of a 0 for 23 slump with his left center tee shot. He’s only managed two hits in his last 40 at-bat. It was his first playoff homerun since the 2013 ALDS with Tampa Bay.
“Just this environment… it’s crazy,” Longoria said. “What a wild night too – the wind. I mean, I think the sound here was sort of dampened by the wind. “
After the home run, Scherzer put out his last six batters. But the Dodgers have lost for the first time of their 13 starts with the team since they were acquired from Washington on the July 30 trade deadline.
“You get to the playoffs, you can still lose by a pitch. That comes into play. Tonight I lost it on a pitch, ”said Scherzer.
The Giants’ other two hits were singles from Buster Posey and Kris Bryant. Their last 15 batters were struck out, including in the ninth when Dodgers closest Kenley Jansen struck out sideways.
San Francisco starter Alex Wood allowed two hits in 4 2/3 innings against his former team. The southpaw struck out four at bat and walked two. Tyler Rogers took the win with 1 2/3 relief. Camilo Doval pitched two perfect innings for the save.
Cool, gusty winds whipped the flags in the center field and even tripped Scherzer by delivering an early pitch one night with weather closer to that of Oracle Park in San Francisco.
Towels, bags of peanuts and plastic bags blew on the warning track and into the stands. A dusty haze erased the usual scenic view of the San Gabriel Mountains and prevented a pre-game flyby from being seen except on the video board. A fan’s white cap flew from the stands and landed on the pitch in the second round.
The strong wind blew steadily from left field to right field throughout the game, ruffling the pitchers’ pants on the mound.
“It’s just part of the game, Mother Nature, and you have to respect that,” said Albert Pujols, who had two of the Dodgers’ three hits.
Scherzer tweaked his mechanics in his last paddock session before Game 3. It worked. He threw with missing rhythm in his last three starts, when he struggled with his leadership, including in the NL substitute game against St. Louis.
He struck out 10 batters between Posey’s single in the first and Bryant’s two-out single in the fourth. Bryant first made his first start of the season for the Giants.
Scherzer allowed one run and three hits in seven innings to concede the loss. The three-time Cy Young Award winner struck out 10 – his fifth career double-digit strikeout in the playoffs – and walked one in 110 throws.
The tension was palpable in the final heats.
Pinch hitter Steven Souza Jr. and Will Smith hit singles with one out in the seventh, the Dodgers’ first straight hits of the game, against sub Rogers. Pinch hitter Austin Barnes hit the swing.
With the sold-out crowd of 53,299 on their feet chanting, “Let’s go, Dodgers! Betts hit a screaming liner in the glove of jumping shortstop Brandon Crawford to end the threat.
“Just catch the ball, that’s all I think about it,” Crawford said. “There was a bit of a lift on it and it was right over my head so I was able to jump and hope it was in my glove. “
The Dodgers have had three hits – all singles – in six innings.
Their first hit came from the bat of Pujols, 41, whose single bloop on the right led to the third in his 75th career playoff game. Along with Pujols, the Dodgers threw Scherzer, 37, and Justin Turner, 36, in third place.
It was Pujols’ first start and his first playoff success since the 2014 ALDS with the Los Angeles Angels. The National League three-time MVP hit 0.294 against left-handed pitchers during the regular season.
Pujols again scored a single in the lead in the fifth before being replaced by pinch runner Billy McKinney. It was his first multi-hit playoff game since his three home run in Game 3 of the 2011 World Series for St. Louis.
Giants left fielder LaMonte Wade Jr.’s mother missed the NLDS’s first three games because she is competing in her own competition – a table tennis tournament.
“He shows where her priorities are, but no, she’s having fun with it.” I get videos from my dad, ”Wade said. “They will definitely watch. “
Giants: 2B Tommy LaStella came out in sixth due to left Achilles strain.
Giants: RHP Anthony DeSclafani will start Game 4.
Dodgers: Roberts said of a starter that “it’s all on the table”.