LOS ANGELES -- Two losses into a four-game test against their first-place rivals, the Dodgers are not showing they can play with the Giants, who scored another 3-1 win Friday night but lost first baseman Brandon Belt to a broken left thumb.
The only Dodgers run came on Yasiel Puig's one-out homer in the sixth off Giants ace Madison Bumgarner, and it nearly led to a brawl when an angry Bumgarner made his way within shouting distance of Puig as he approached home plate.
Manager Don Mattingly wasn't even around the watch the entire loss, getting ejected in the sixth inning three pitches after Puig's home run for arguing with plate umpire Will Little over balls and strikes.
The Puig-Bumgarner dustup was the postgame focus, although what the Dodgers really need to address is their continued losing. They've dropped three straight and five of their last six, falling a season-low 4 1/2 games out of first in the National League West. They are 2-6 against San Francisco this year, only one game above .500 at 19-18 and 6-11 at home.
Even with the worst defense in the league, the biggest culprit for the Dodgers is offense.
Already the Dodgers have failed to score more than two runs in 13 games, 12 of them losses. They've lost seven games in which their pitcher has thrown a quality start. And they haven't won any game they trailed after six innings. They got one run on four hits off Bumgarner.
The Dodgers were playing without third baseman Juan Uribe, who suffered a mild strain of his right hamstring Thursday night. Justin Turner started at third base and had a double, but also was charged with a throwing error after making a difficult barehanded pickup of Joaquin Arias' RBI infield single.
Meanwhile, the Giants are deploying exaggerated defensive shifts on most of the Dodgers' potent hitters, even the right-handers, and it's working, as hitters who don't use the whole field have become easier to defend. Of course, Bumgarner has been effective against the Dodgers even before the new-school defenses appeared this year.
"We haven't been able to do a lot with Bum here," said Mattingly. "That said, we haven't done a whole lot with anybody lately. He's got good stuff. He's a handful every time we face him. At this point, we're just not doing enough."
And the one time the Dodgers scored, a fight nearly broke out.
While Puig toured the bases, Bumgarner said something to the plate umpire, then yelled at Puig as he neared home, apparently miffed that he was being shown up by the outfielder's bat flip and admiration of the blast to center field. Puig didn't back down, stopping a few strides from the plate to shout back. Mattingly came out of the dugout as Puig completed his trot, pointing at Bumgarner and complaining to Little.
"The umpire, at that point, I can't have anybody yelling at Yasiel," said Mattingly. "The umpire's got to go out there and do something."
An insincere Bumgarner pleaded ignorance.
"I was just congratulating him," Bumgarner said. "That was a really good swing. I don't know why everybody got so mad. That was pretty impressive. I don't know what happened.
"Again, I don't know why everybody got so mad. It escalated quickly for no reason. I think he said, 'Thank you,' I'm not sure if he did. I don't speak Spanish very well."
A serious Mattingly felt Bumgarner overreacted to Puig.
"He hit it, flipped it and ran," said Mattingly. "I'm not sure what he's upset about. You see guys do stuff every day. The double standard is always annoying. Obviously, Yasiel is a little bit of a lightning rod. He plays hard. I didn't think he did anything wrong."
"It surprised me a little that he was there," Puig said of Bumgarner's presence near the third-base line. "I may have done something he didn't like. From my perspective, it's part of the game."
When asked what Bumgarner said to him, Puig claimed, "I don't know." He said catcher Buster Posey "said something like, let it go, go back to the bench."
After a called strike three pitches into the following at-bat by Ramirez, Little turned toward the Dodgers' dugout and ejected Mattingly, the manager's first tossing of the year and 12th as skipper.
Belt was injured when hit by a Paul Maholm pitch leading off the second inning.
"I tried to throw Belt a slider down and away, and it was the first pitch of the inning and I missed by about two feet," said Maholm. "You don't ever want to see a guy get hurt. Obviously, it was unintentional. Probably one of the worst spots a hitter can get hit."
Maholm (1-3) was dueling Bumgarner (4-3) on even terms into the fifth inning, having retired 10 consecutive batters when he issued a one-out walk to Brandon Hicks. Brandon Crawford, who came into the game 3-for-6 lifetime against Maholm, lined the next pitch for a two-run homer into the right-field pavilion.
"It wasn't a good pitch," said Maholm. "I tried to go away and get a double-play and ran the ball over the middle and up and he took advantage of it. It was really the only bad pitch I threw all night. It was a home run. Kind of stunk."
Brandon League pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief, escaping a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the seventh.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.