AP Baseball Writer
POSTED: 09:06 a.m. HST, Jul 28, 2014
SAN FRANCISCO >> Manager Don Mattingly hardly considers a late-July sweep in San Francisco a turning point to put his Dodgers in the driver's seat atop the NL West.
Yet coming off consecutive series losses at St. Louis and Pittsburgh, Los Angeles needed some sort of spark as August approaches. The Dodgers found it in the ballpark of their biggest rival, and left the Bay Area in first place following an emphatic three-game swing.
Carl Crawford hit an RBI triple to back Hyun-Jin Ryu's third straight victory, and division-leading Los Angeles beat the Giants 4-3 Sunday night to establish some momentum behind their pitching and offense.
"You make enough of a statement by winning three games," Mattingly said. "Obviously it's something. That's all it is at that point because you have a lot of baseball to play. We're going to see these guys again. They're not going anywhere."
Matt Kemp singled twice and the Dodgers leave the Bay Area with a 1 1/2-game division lead after outscoring the Giants 17-4.
"Getting offense for three days is kind of like when you don't get it for three days, you don't really know where it's going to continue to go," Mattingly said. "It's a chance to build momentum, it's a confidence builder for your club to be able to come into a tough environment and play well."
Ryu (12-5) moved within two wins of his rookie total last year and improved to 4-1 in five outings at AT&T Park, where in one dominant weekend the Dodgers made quite a statement to take over the NL West's top spot.
"It was great. To come out of here with a 1 1/2-game lead, especially coming into it with a 1 1/2-game deficit, obviously best-case scenario," first baseman Adrian Gonzalez said. "After the first leg of this road trip where we lost both series, this kind of made everything great, winning a series, winning a road trip and going home on a great note."
In his Giants debut, Jake Peavy threw a pair of wild pitches in the fifth as the Dodgers went ahead on Hanley Ramirez's RBI single ahead of Crawford's triple to the corner in deep right field.
San Francisco suffered its first three-game sweep in the rivalry since June 24-26, 2013, at Dodger Stadium. The last Dodgers sweep at AT&T Park came July 27-29, 2012.
Buster Posey hit a solo home run in the fifth for San Francisco's first extra-base hit since Hunter Pence doubled in the ninth inning Wednesday at Philadelphia -- the Giants' first three-game stretch without an extra-base hit since May 30-June 1, 2002.
Ryu struck out seven in six innings and improved to 8-2 in 11 road starts. Kenley Jansen followed scoreless innings by J.P. Howell and Brian Wilson for his 30th save.
Peavy (0-1) pitched a day after being traded from the Boston Red Sox to the Giants for a pair of minor league pitchers, reuniting him with former manager Bruce Bochy. Peavy pitched for Bochy and the Padres in the playoffs in 2005-06.
Bochy stuck with the right-hander to get through the sixth after he allowed a leadoff walk to Juan Uribe. Peavy drew regular roars from a lively sellout crowd at AT&T Park as fans found plenty to cheer for after a frustrating few days.
He allowed six hits and four runs -- three earned -- struck out five and walked two in six innings.
Peavy dropped to 14-3 with a 2.28 ERA in 26 starts against Los Angeles, including a three-hitter last Aug. 25 at Dodger Stadium in which he struck out five and walked one.
Second baseman Dan Uggla committed two errors, including one that helped tie it early after he scored the game's first run in the bottom of the third. Uggla's fielding error leading off the top of the fourth allowed Ramirez to reach and Uribe later singled in the tying run.
The Giants lost for the 19th time in their last 25 home games.
"It's going to be important to put it behind us," Bochy said. "We have to regroup."
NOTES: With speculation that Kemp might be traded, Mattingly says the OF has no issue playing RF and "This combination of guys, this is what we like." ... Of the Dodgers' Triple-A benches-clearing brawl with the Diamondbacks' affiliate on Saturday, Mattingly said the No. 1 thing is "nobody's hurt."... Former Giants closer Wilson drew cheers during pregame warmups, then boos for the beard when the Los Angeles reliever jogged out for the bottom of the eighth. ... Madison Bumgarner (12-7) pitches when San Francisco begins a three-game series at home with Pittsburgh on Monday night while the Dodgers have an off day before starting an eight-game homestand Tuesday against Atlanta.