SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 01: Matt Cain #18 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers at AT&T Park on August 1 2010 in San Francisco California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Giants Sweep LA To Tie Season Series

For more on the series and the team in general, go to McCovey Chronicles, SB Nation's San Francisco Giants blog.

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Matt Cain Beats The Dodgers For The First Time

San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - Matt Cain finally got his elusive first win against the rival Dodgers with 7 2/3 shutout innings, and the San Francisco Giants recorded a three-game sweep of Los Angeles with a 2-0 victory.

Cain (9-8) came into the contest with an 0-8 mark for his career against the Dodgers in 14 outings. The righty, though, allowed just four hits and a walk while fanning seven to earn his third straight winning decision. Brian Wilson notched his 31st save.

Edgar Renteria's two-run triple provided the offense for San Francisco, which recorded its first sweep of the Dodgers since April 24-26, 2007. The Giants have won 21 of their last 27 games and are currently leading the wild card race with the second-best record in the NL.

Clayton Kershaw (10-6), who was making his first start since serving his five- game suspension for hitting Giants outfielder Aaron Rowand, was dealt the hard-luck loss despite yielding just six hits, two runs and four walks in seven frames. The lefty struck out six for the Dodgers, who have lost five straight.

The two talented starting pitchers dueled it out, keeping each team off the board early.

A fielding error allowed the Giants to put runners on first and second with only one away in the second, but Kershaw struck out Renteria and Cain to escape the jam.

Scott Podsednik reached third in the fourth inning for the Dodgers, but Cain was able to induce a groundout fromMatt Kemp to keep Los Angeles off the board.

San Francisco squandered an opportunity with the bases loaded in the fourth, but finally broke through in the sixth.

Pat Burrell doubled the other way off the wall in right with one out, and Aaron Rowand was intentionally walked with two away. The move immediately backfired, as Renteria lined a triple into the left-center field gap, giving the Giants a 2-0 advantage.

Cain allowed a two-out single to pinch-hitter Jamey Carroll in the eighth, which prompted the Giants to insertJavier Lopez from the bullpen. Lopez, making his San Francisco debut after being acquired in a trade with Pittsburgh, got Podsednik to ground out to the pitcher to end the inning.

Wilson pitched around a one-out walk in the ninth to secure the victory.

The season series is tied, 6-6...Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier missed the game because his wife is having a child...San Francisco improved to 42-11 when scoring first...The Giants recorded their first home sweep of the Dodgers since June 21-24, 2004...Cain lowered his earned run average to 2.98, while Kershaw lowered his to 2.94...The Dodgers have scored nine runs during their five-game losing streak...Octavio Dotel, acquired by the Dodgers from Pittsburgh, made his debut with LA and pitched a scoreless eighth.


Giants Looking For Sweep

(Sports Network) - Clayton Kershaw ruffled some feathers the last time he faced the Giants.

Matt Cain's issues with the Dodgers goes back much further.

Kershaw returns from a five-game suspension, a ban that stems from an incident with the Giants, and Cain tries yet again for his first career victory versus the Dodgers as Los Angeles and San Francisco conclude a three-game set tonight at AT&T Park.

Kershaw drew his suspension for intentionally hitting San Francisco's Aaron Rowand with a pitch in the seventh inning during a July 20th start. The 22- year-old was ejected, along with manager Joe Torre, because both benches had already been warned after the Giants' Tim Lincecum had previously hit Matt Kemp with a pitch in the fifth frame.

Kershaw appealed the suspension, allowing him to beat the Mets on Sunday with eight scoreless innings, but he dropped his appeal on Monday even though he still disagreed with the penalty.

"I don't think it was handled right," Kershaw told the Dodgers' website on Tuesday. "I don't agree with the umpire's view of it, with a lot of stuff that happened. That's the purpose of the appeal, but I'll just have to deal with the consequences, and that's all there is to it. Five games is a little much. I don't think I should miss a start for it."

The left-hander, who is 10-5 with a 2.96 earned run average this year, is still in search of his first decision versus the Giants. In four games, including three starts, he has a 1.71 ERA.

Cain has gotten plenty of decisions versus the Dodgers, just the wrong kind. He is 0-8 with a 4.32 ERA in 14 career starts versus the division-rival Dodgers and has faced the club just once this year, taking a loss on June 29 after yielding four runs over five innings.

The 25-year-old righty is 2-0 with a 2.05 ERA in three starts since a four- decision losing streak and got a no-decision versus the Marlins on Tuesday after giving up three runs on four hits over seven frames of work.

On the season, Cain is 8-8 with a 3.14 ERA and 5-3 with a 2.75 ERA in 10 outings at home.

The Giants have taken the first two games of this series and are in position to sweep the Dodgers for the first time since April 24-26, 2007 in Los Angeles.

San Francisco's offense struggled through most of Saturday's game before Pat Burrell smacked a two-run homer off LA closer Jonathan Broxton with two outs in the eighth inning to lead the Giants to a 2-1 victory.

The win was San Francisco's fourth in five games and eighth in their last 10. The club also moved within 1 1/2 games of San Diego for first place in the National League West. Los Angeles is seven games back.

"Every game is important. We have to approach every game like it's crunch time, because in reality it is," Burrell said.

Pitching on three days' rest, Chad Billingsley allowed just two hits and two walks over 6 2/3 scoreless innings. However, he got a no-decision because the offense could only manager Casey Blake's solo homer.

"We're digging ourselves a deeper hole that we're going to have to come back out of," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said.

Los Angeles was without Andre Ethier, who left the club due to the birth of his second child. He is likely to miss tonight as well.

Los Angeles had won six of nine from the Giants this season prior to this series.

Both the Dodgers and Giants made moves before Saturday's non-waiver trade deadline. Los Angeles got starterTed Lilly and infielder Ryan Theriot from the Cubs as well as reliever Octavio Dotel from the Pirates.

The Giants, meanwhile, acquired a pair of relievers in Ramon Ramirez from the Red Sox and Javier Lopezfrom the Pirates.


Zito Gets No Decision, Still Plays Well In Giants 2-1 Win

San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - Pat Burrell smacked a two-out, two-run homer off Jonathan Broxton in the eighth inning to help the Giants steal a 2-1 decision over the Dodgers in the second meeting of a three-game series.

Hong-Chih Kuo plunked Buster Posey with two outs in the eighth and was promptly pulled for Broxton (3-3), who battled back from a 3-0 count to Burrell before serving up a payoff fastball that was redirected over the left- field wall for the go-ahead score.

Guillermo Mota (1-3), who struck out Rafael Furcal and Matt Kemp to strand two runners in the eighth, finished off San Francisco's fourth win in five games with a 1-2-3 ninth, sending Los Angeles to its fourth straight loss.

Burrell's blast spoiled a terrific start for Chad Billingsley, who pitched on three day's rest and allowed just two hits and two walks while fanning five over 6 2/3 scoreless innings.

Barry Zito also received a no-decision, as the veteran lefty gave up one run on Casey Blake's homer over seven innings, scattering three hits and two walks to go with six punchouts.

Both starters were on cruise control until the seventh, which Blake opened by taking a high-and-in fastball over the left-field wall.

Kuo relieved Billingsley with two outs and one on in the seventh and gave up a pinch-hit single to Aaron Rowand. A wild pitch put both runners in scoring position, but Kuo fanned Andres Torres to end the threat.

Billingsley, who has thrown 21 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings, was 0-2 with a 22.50 earned-run average in two previous starts on less than four day's rest...Kuo's scoreless streak ended at 16 2/3 frames...The Giants finished July with a 20-8 record, their first 20-win month since September 2000...Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier did not play, as he flew back to Los Angeles to witness the birth of his second child...Clayton Kershaw's five-game suspension ends on Sunday and he will toe the rubber against San Fran's Matt Cain...The Dodgers got several reinforcements at the trade deadline Saturday, netting starter Ted Lilly and infielder Ryan Theriot from the Cubsand reliever Octavio Dotel from the Pirates...The Giants added bullpen help in the form of Ramon Ramirezfrom the Red Sox and Javier Lopez from the Pirates.


Zito Looks To Create Giants Streak, Break His Own

Barry Zito takes the mound tonight, hoping to begin a Giants winning streak and break his own losing streak. Zito has dropped three straight and only has one win in eight starts. He did play well against the Dodgers in his last start against them however, giving up two runs over 7 1/3 innings, but still gave up the loss.

The pitcher opposite him was Chad Billingsley, who stands opposite him Saturday much like last time. Billingsley pitches well against the Giants, both of his career shutouts have come against the team who invests so much in trying to 'Beat LA'.

Billingsley is 9-5 for a 4.00 ERA this year and is 5-2 with a 3.22 ERA against the Giants all-time. He's pitching on three-days of rest for the first time in his career. Clayton Kershaw is serving a five game suspension for intentionally hitting Aaron Rowand in a game last week.

"There's always a little concern because we don't do [short rest] much," LA pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said on his team's website. "I think we only did it with Derek Lowe before. You never really know. But the way he's throwing and his last outing, we're using his judgment."    

On Friday night, the Dodgers threatened with a late rally to come within one point of the Giants as all-star closer Brian Wilson was out with a sore back. Zito (8-6, 3.49 ERA) will try and make sure they don't sniff a comeback, hoping for run support from Aubrey Huff, who had three hits, a homerun and three RBI on Friday.

The quest to tie up the series against LA continues, as the Dodgers have taken six of ten.


Lincecum Starts Shaky But Recovers Nicely In Giants Win

San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - Aubrey Huff went 3-for-4 with a home run, a double and three RBI, andTim Lincecum lasted seven innings after a slow start to pace San Francisco to a tight 6-5 triumph over theDodgers in the opener of a three-game series between the National League West rivals.

Lincecum (11-4) battled through the first three frames and held on through seven, scattering seven hits, two walks and two runs while striking out nine for the Giants, who won for the seventh time in nine games despite giving up three runs in the ninth inning.

Rafael Furcal carried Los Angeles' offense by going 3-for-3 with a home run, two walks and a double. Scott Podsednik and Russell Martin each had two hits and a RBI in the club's third straight setback.

Carlos Monasterios (3-3) took the loss after allowing four runs on seven hits in five-plus innings.

Giants closer Brian Wilson (back) was unavailable in the ninth, and the Giants used four pitchers -- including a starter -- to barely hold on to their 6-2 lead.

Sergio Romo, who threw a perfect eighth, was pulled after Podsednik tripled off the glove of Andres Torres in center to score Jamey Carroll with one out. Denny Bautista walked the only batter he faced -- Furcal -- andJonathan Sanchez was called in for his first relief appearance of the year and promptly threw a wild pitch that scored Podsednik.

Sanchez struck out Andre Ethier, but was yanked after plunking James Loney, putting the tying run on first.Chris Ray came in and gave up an RBI single to Matt Kemp that left runners on the corners before gettingCasey Blake to ground out to short, notching his first save of the season.

LA stranded a runner on third in the first inning, but got a run in the second when Martin singled home Blake.

Furcal answered Juan Uribe's solo shot in the second with one of his own in the third, though the Dodgers wasted a bases-loaded, one-out opportunity in the frame as Blake DeWitt struck out and Martin grounded out to first.

Huff put the Giants in front for good with a double off the wall in right- center, scoring Torres and Freddy Sanchez.

It stayed 3-2 in favor of the hosts until the sixth, when Pat Burrell and Pablo Sandoval recorded consecutive two-out, run-scoring doubles.

Huff tacked on an insurance run in the seventh with a deep homer to right off Jeff Weaver, a run that proved important as the Dodgers rallied in the ninth.

Lincecum is 5-1 lifetime against the Dodgers, though he surrendered five runs in 4 2/3 innings in a no-decision on July 20...Giants catcher Buster Posey went 1-for-4 a day after having his 21-game hit streak snapped...The Dodgers stranded 10 runners, going 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

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