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San Francisco Giants' Buster Posey, right, is congratulated by Pablo Sandoval after hitting a solo home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Tuesday, June 25, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

LOS ANGELES -- Giants general manager Brian Sabean leaned against the railing of the visiting dugout at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday evening and spoke bluntly about a team that would take the field an hour later with a .500 record.

"We've earned that record," Sabean said. "A lot has happened with injuries, poor play and not performing up to expectations."

By the end of the night, the Giants, banged up, playing poorly and underperforming, were officially a team with a losing record. A 6-5 loss to the Dodgers was the eighth in 11 games and dropped the Giants to 38-39.

The Giants trailed by three heading into the ninth before putting a rally together. Three singles and a double cut the deficit to one and put the tying run on second base with no outs. After Juan Perez flied out and Gregor Blanco struck out, Marco Scutaro hit a deep fly ball to center field. Matt Kemp was playing shallow but raced back and made a spectacular over-the-shoulder grab to end the game. Kemp, who had come off the disabled list earlier in the day, emphatically slammed his hand against the wall in celebration.

In the Giants dugout, there was only disbelief.

"We've had a couple of these recently," manager Bruce Bochy said. "Marco smoked it. I thought it was over (Kemp's) head, and you've got the lead at that point. He made a great catch."

The play was the kind the Giants haven't made while dropping into fourth place, just 31/2 games ahead of the last-place Dodgers. On Tuesday, though, Bochy didn't need the spectacular.

"The little things got us tonight," he said.

That included an inability to get Brandon Belt home from third with one out in the fifth. The Giants gave up another run when rookie reliever Jake Dunning made an errant throw to first on a pickoff play with two outs in the sixth. That mistake came with the opposing pitcher standing at the plate.

"We lost by one run, and you look at a lot of things in games like that," Bochy said. "The only thing you do is keep going hard. You have no choice."

Rookie Mike Kickham led that charge early on Tuesday, giving up just a two-run homer in the first five innings of his second big league start and striking out phenom Yasiel Puig to begin the sixth. Then the wheels came off.

Adrian Gonzalez hit a double, and Hanley Ramirez followed with a laser that nicked the outside of the left-field foul pole and put the Dodgers up 4-2. Singles by Kemp and Andre Ethier kept the rally going and ended Kickham's night. The Dodgers scored four runs in the inning, and Kickham was charged with five earned runs in 51/3 innings. Still, it was a marked improvement from his first start.

"I feel better about this one," he said. "But obviously, I'm not where I want to be yet."

The Giants scored just two runs when Kickham was in the game but got a third on Belt's solo homer in the seventh. Belt's double in the ninth was in the heart of the late rally against beleaguered right-hander Brandon League, but the Giants couldn't finish the job.

"We just have to forget what happened today," Andres Torres said.

The Giants had better do so in a hurry. Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw takes the ball in Wednesday's series finale. The left-hander has a 1.28 ERA in 19 career appearances against the Giants and shut them out on opening day.

  • With his team reeling from injuries and over a month remaining until the trade deadline, Sabean said the "price of doing business right now is prohibitive."

    The Giants have drawn up lists of trade targets, and Sabean said he has made and received plenty of phone calls. But he doesn't expect the Giants to make a move anytime soon.

    "You have to respect that the opponent knows you as well as you know yourself," Sabean said. "When we pick up the phone or receive calls, we're in a negative-leverage situation. If somebody is going to trade somebody this early, they're going to have to win the deal, and you're going to have to let them.

    "We're not going to make a deal just to make a deal."

  • Infielder Joaquin Arias said his mild hamstring strain feels much better, and the Giants are hopeful he will be available for this weekend's series against the Colorado Rockies.

    Right-hander Chad Gaudin said his elbow contusion is healing nicely and that he expects to be ready to come off the disabled list at the start of the next homestand.

    wednesday's game

    Giants (Tim Lincecum 4-7) at L.A. Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw 5-5), 7:10 p.m. NBC Bay Area