Giants Vs. Dodgers: Battle For 1st Place Returns To Dodgers Stadium

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Giants Vs. Dodgers: Matt Cain, Joaquin Arias Solidify Sweep With 8-4 Win

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Joaquin Arias belted a two-run homer in the opening inning and drove in a career-high five runs, and the San Francisco Giants completed a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers with an 8-4 victory Wednesday night.

The Giants, who earned their first sweep of 3-or-more contests at Dodger Stadium since April 24-26, 2007, moved their lead to 2 1/2 games over Los Angeles atop the NL West.

Matt Cain (13-5) allowed seven hits and a run over seven innings to win his third straight start.

"Matt did a great job. He made pitches when he had to. The guys had great focus on defense," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

Angel Pagan had a pair of hits and scored three times, and Pablo Sandoval contributed two RBI for the Giants, winners in eight of their last 11 games.

Luis Cruz had two RBI for the Dodgers. Chris Capuano (11-9) surrendered six hits and six runs over five-plus innings to fall to 1-6 lifetime against the Giants.

Pagan doubled and Marco Scutaro singled prior to Sandoval's sacrifice fly to right field in the opening inning. One out later, Arias smacked a homer that skipped off the top of the wall in right-center field.

"Nothing really went our way this series," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "They got us on the ropes instantly."

The Dodgers saw an opportunity wasted in the fifth inning. With men on second and third, Shane Victorino struck out to cap the frame.

Capuano retired 13 batters in a row until Pagan singled to left field to start the sixth. Scutaro hit a ground-rule double to left field prior to Sandoval's line RBI single to left field.

Shawn Tolleson gave up a one-out RBI double to left-center field by Arias. Justin Christian walked with the bases full later in the inning for a 6-0 margin.

Hanley Ramirez singled in Andre Ethier in the bottom of the sixth inning, but Arias stroked a two-run double to center field in the seventh for an 8-1 lead.

Christian made a diving catch in left field to rob Juan Rivera of a hit in the bottom of the frame.

Matt Kemp hit a ground-rule RBI double in the LA eighth. Jeremy Affeldt, making his 600th career appearance, came in to relieve Clay Hensley. Affeldt loaded the bases before Santiago Casilla gave up a two-run, broken-bat single to Cruz. A.J. Ellis, though, grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Game Notes

Cain moved to 4-8 lifetime against the Dodgers and has won his last four decisions against them. He's 3-0 with a 1.61 ERA over his last three starts overall ... Capuano has lost four of hits last five decisions ... The Giants lead the season series, 7-5.

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Bred Penny Injury Update: Giants Reliever Gets Rehab Assignment Thursday For Single-A San Jose

San Francisco Giants reliever Brad Penny is making his way back from some shoulder soreness that put him on the 15-day DL at the beginning of the month, but is making his way back with the San Jose Giants in a rehab assignment on Thursday.

Per Donny Baarnes on Twitter:

Penny made his last appearance back on August 13 during the 14-2 drubbing at the hands of the Washington Nationals. He would end up giving up six earned runs over two innings of work before being pulled, and placed on the disabled list the very next day.

Penny has made 15 appearances for the Black and Orange this season, posting a 0-1 record with a 6.86 ERA along with six strikeouts in 12 innings pitched.

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Giants Vs. Dodgers: Buster Posey Scratched With Apparent Hamstring Injury

The San Francisco Giants will be without All-Star catcher Buster Posey Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers as he was a late scratch to the lineup due to an apparent hamstring injury, according to CSN Bay Area.

Hector Sanchez will take Posey's spot as catcher, batting sixth in the lineup, but as the Black and Orange look for a sweep of their arch nemesis, losing your best offensive player will certainly not help. This will also be Sanchez's first time catching Matt Cain this season.

Buster is hitting .327 for the Giants this year along with 19 homers and 79 RBI, production that will be needed down the home stretch for the now Melky Cabrera-less Giants. This will likely not be a serious injury though, according to the San Francisco Chronicle's Hank Schulman:

Updated lineup for Wednesday:

1. Angel Pagan CF
2. Marco Scutaro 2B
3. Pablo Sandoval 3B
4. Hunter Pence RF
5. Joaquin Arias SS
6. Hector Sanchez C
7. Brandon Belt 1B
8. Justin Christian LF
9. Matt Cain P

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Giants Vs. Dodgers Lineups: San Francisco Goes For Sweep

The San Francisco Giants have taken great advantage of a series with the Los Angeles Dodgers that has playoff implications written all over it.

Two games and two wins in, the Giants have taken the NL West lead out of the Dodgers hands. Wednesday's 7:10 p.m. PT game is just an opportunity to build some cushion between themselves and their division rivals.

The Giants have Matt Cain on the mound to face the Dodgers' Chris Capuano, and having won four of six since Melky Cabrera was suspended for violating the league's anti-drug policy, things aren't looking so bad.

San Francisco Giants (68-55)

1. Angel Pagan, CF

2. Marco Scutaro, 2B

3. Pablo Sandoval, 3B

4. Buster Posey, C

5. Hunter Pence, RF

6. Joaquin Arias, SS

7. Brandon Belt, 1B

8. Justin Christian, LF

9. Matt Cain, P

Los Angeles Dodgers (67-57)

1. Shane Victorino, LF

2. Mark Ellis, 2B

3. Matt Kemp, CF

4. Andre Ethier, RF

5. Hanley Ramirez, SS

6. James Loney, 1B

7. Luis Cruz, 3B

8. A.J. Ellis, C

9. Chris Capuano, P

For more on the San Francisco Giants, hit up McCovey Chronicles or take a look at Baseball Nation for more on the MLB.

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Giants Vs. Dodgers: San Francisco Turns To Matt Cain For Series Sweep

The San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers have swept each other in each of their last two series meetings, and are on the verge of another as Matt Cain takes the bump for the Black and Orange, looking to bring out the brroms at Dodgers Stadium.

Cain (12-5, 2.90) allowed three runs total is his last two starts taking the W in both. Mr. Perfect has been solid against L.A. as well allowing three runs in seven innings against them on July 27 as part of a 5-3 loss in extras at AT&T Park, and is 3-2 with a 2.94 ERA in his last eight starts against them.

The Dodgers will send out Chris Capuano (11-8, 3.14), who has been solid all year for L.A. He gave up three runs and five hits in 7.1 innings of work in a 4-3 loss to Atlanta on Friday, but owns a 2.17 ERA at home, the NL's third best so far this year. This will also be Capuano's first taste of the heated rivalry.

If the Giants win today, this will be their largest lead in the division in nearly a month.

First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.

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Giants Vs. Dodgers, Final Score: Tim Lincecum Solid As G-Men Win 4-1

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Buster Posey knocked in a pair of runs and Tim Lincecum and the Giants bullpen shut down the Dodgers in a 4-1 victory.

Lincecum (7-13) gave up just one run on five hits and one walk over 5 2/3 innings for the division-leading Giants, who have won four of their last five.

Angel Pagan went 3-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI and threw a runner out at the plate to prevent a big sixth inning for Los Angeles.

"It's great to come in here and take the first two games," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

San Francisco increased its cushion in the NL West to 1 1/2 games over the second-place Dodgers and will look to complete a three-game sweep when Matt Cain takes the hill Wednesday opposite Chris Capuano.

Joe Blanton (8-12) suffered a third straight loss in a Dodgers uniform, allowing four runs on 10 hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings.

One night after Madison Bumgarner outdueled Clayton Kershaw in the Giants' 2-1 win, Lincecum showed he still has the arsenal that made him a two-time Cy Young Award winner by retiring the first 10 batters he faced.

Posey gave him some early run support when he singled in Pagan and Marco Scutaro with a base hit to right field in the first.

The Giants tacked on two more in the fourth when Brandon Crawford knocked in Gregor Blanco with a single and scored on Pagan's two-out double to right- center.

Lincecum ran into trouble in the sixth, but Pagan bailed him out when he threw out A.J. Ellis trying to score from second on Shane Victorino's base hit to center. The Dodgers later loaded the bases and only pushed one run across on Matt Kemp's sacrifice fly.

Jose Mijares struck out Andre Ethier to strand runners on the corners in the sixth, and Santiago Casilla hurled two perfect innings leading up to the ninth.

Sergio Romo was pulled after yielding a one-out single to Kemp, and Javier Lopez induced a game-ending double-play ground ball off the bat of Ethier to record his third save of the season.

"We had chances, but couldn't get the big hit," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.

Game Notes

Lincecum dropped six of his first seven decisions on the road before winning his last three ... The Giants have gone 5-0-1 in five road series since the All-Star break... The Dodgers fell to 6-11 at home since the All-Star break ... Adam Kennedy had two of LA's six hits.

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San Francisco Giants' First Round Pick Goes To Hospital, Expected To Be OK

The San Francisco Giants organization received a scare on Tuesday night as prospect Chris Stratton was hit in the head with a line drive. Stratton, a right-handed pitcher taken with the first round pick of the 2012 Draft, was taken to a local hospital and underwent tests. He is now resting comfortably and in stable condition, according to reports.

Stratton has been diagnosed with concussion-like symptoms and will spend at least one night under observation. It sounds like he will be OK though, per his father.

No timetable is set on his return. Given that the A-ball season is nearly over, Stratton has likely pitched his final game of the season. All things considered, he and the Giants have to feel very fortunate nothing more than a possible concussion came from the incident.

For more on Stratton and the Giants, head over to McCovey Chronicles and stick with SB Nation Bay Area throughout the season.

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Bruce Bochy Says It's Time for Lincecum to be Lincecum

San Francisco Giants coach Bruce Bochy called out his once-ace Tim Lincecum, saying, "It is going to be important for Timmy and for us to get on track and [pitch] better."

The two-time Cy Young award winner is mired in the worst year of his career. Lincecum is 6-13 with a 5.45 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP. It hasn't been all terrible for him either, as he ranks third in the NL with 9.43 strikeouts per nine innings.

As CSNBayArea.com reports, Bochy is trying to keep "The Freak" on track, saying that his mind tends to wander when he is getting battered around.

"He's healthy and his stuff is good," Bochy said. "But some of those games that get away from him ... he forgets to pitch. He knows how. He's always had the ability to adjust to a lineup or a team."

Lincecum has struggled all season with pitch counts early in the games, often falling apart or getting knocked out early because of messy early innings.

"It doesn't take much," Bochy said. "The plate is only 17 inches (wide). You're two or three inches off, and, well ... A lack of confidence can cause that. And it doesn't matter hwo good you are. Occasionally, doubt can creep in."

Lincecum has been better since the All-Star break, going 3-3 with a 3.30 ERA. However, Lincecum lasted just four innings in his last start against the Washington Nationals, giving up four runs as he labored through 96 pitches.

"For the most part he has stayed positive," Bochy said. "He hasn't stopped believing, hasn't stopped working. In all those areas, he's doing well."

But if the Giants are going to continue their playoff push, they will need a "vintage" Tim Lincecum, or at least the consistency that comes with it. Bochy says that with September approaching, it is time for Timmy to start being Timmy again.

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Giants Vs. Dodgers: Tim Lincecum Faces Joe Blanton In Game 2

The San Francisco Giants are back atop the NL West thanks to a brilliant performance from Madison Bumgarner on Monday night, looking to separate themselves even more from the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday as Tim Lincecum takes the mound.

After a nice start to the second half for Lincecum (6-13, 5.45), he now looks to avoid this third loss in a row after getting knocked around for four runs in four innings of work against the Nationals in his last start. The two-time Cy Young winner is just 3-6 with a 7.50 ERA in 12 road starts this season.

The Dodgers will counter with Joe Blanton (8-11, 4.96) who got shelled for eight runs in 4.1 innings of work in his last outing. In nine career starts against the Giants, Blanton is 2-4 with a 4.75 ERA.

First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.

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Giants Vs. Dodgers, Final Score: Madison Bumgarner Brilliant in 2-1 Victory

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Madison Bumgarner struck out 10 batters over eight shutout innings and the San Francisco Giants moved into first place in the NL West with a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Bumgarner (14-7), who threw a complete game against the Nationals last Tuesday, allowed four hits and didn't walk a batter in the opener of this three-game series.

"I had to be on my game 100 percent and make pitches," Bumgarner said. "The defense played good behind me and we had a couple of balls fall our way."

Sergio Romo gave up a two-out homer to Hanley Ramirez in the ninth inning, but the Giants won for the third time in four games. They are a half-game ahead of the Dodgers.

Pablo Sandoval lifted a sacrifice fly in the opening inning and had an RBI single in the sixth frame. Angel Pagan scored both times.

Clayton Kershaw (11-7) also had 10 strikeouts over eight innings, but saw his four-game winning streak snapped. It was the third loss in the last nine games for the Dodgers.

"We had our hands full with Madison," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "We had only four hits until the ninth. We didn't have a lot of chances tonight."

Pagan doubled to left field leading off the game, moved to third on a bunt from Marco Scutaro and scored on Sandoval's fly ball to left field.

A.J. Ellis struck out to leave Juan Rivera at third in the bottom of the second inning and Shane Victorino was thrown out trying to steal second in the home third.

Pagan legged out an infield hit in the sixth and Scutaro followed with a base hit. Sandoval blooped a hit to left field, and Pagan slid in safely when A.J. Ellis missed the tag at home.

Victorino stole a pair of bases in the sixth inning, but Matt Kemp fanned to end the threat.

After Ramirez homered to left field, Javier Lopez retired Andre Ethier on a groundout to first base. Lopez recorded his second save of the season.

Game Notes

Kershaw is 7-4 lifetime against the Giants, while Bumgarner is 5-2 versus the Dodgers ... The Giants have gone 4-0-1 in their five road series since the All-Star break. San Francisco has not lost a series on the road since dropping two of three games at Pittsburgh, July 6-8 ... Since the All-Star break, the Giants have won 12 of their last 17 road games.

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Giants vs. Dodgers Lineup: Bumgarner Looks to Power Giants to First

Gregor Blanco is back in at left field after sitting the previous two games as the Giants open a crucial series against the much loathed Los Angeles Dodgers. The Giants currently sit half a game back from first in the NL West and one game behind the Atlanta Braves and Pittsburgh Pirates in the wild card face.

1. Angel Pagan, CF

2. Marco Scutaro, 2B

3. Pablo Sandoval, 3B

4. Buster Posey, C

5. Hunter Pence, RF

6. Joaquin Arias, SS

7. Brandon Belt, 1B

8. Gregor Blanco, LF

9. Madison Bumgarner, P

Bumgarner looks to continue his stellar year and build off the success of his last start - a one run complete game victory over the Washington Nationals. He is 13-7 with a 2.97 ERA for the year.

Hanley Ramierez looks to continue his hot hitting ways with his new team. Although he was 0-5 last night, Ramierez is batting .313/.374/.521 with the Dodgers in 24 games.

1. Shane Victorino, LF

2. Mark Ellis, 2B

3. Matt Kemp, CF

4. Hanley Ramirez, SS

5. Andre Ethier, RF

6. Juan Rivera, 1B

7. Luis Cruz, 3B

8. A.J. Ellis, C

9. Clayton Kershaw, P

The Dodgers are countering with their own ace in Kershaw who has had pretty good success off of the Giants through his career. Kershaw is 7-3 with a 1.32 ERA lifetime against the Dodgers.

For more on the Giants head to McCovey Chronicles.

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Giants Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner Duke It Out

The San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers lock horns once again starting Monday, rekindling the battle for first place in the NL West with Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner squaring off in game one.

Kershaw (11-6, 2.90 ERA) has a 1.78 ERA his last four starts, all of them victories, which began back in San Francisco on July 29 after a complete game five-hitter and a 4-0 Dodgers win. The 2011 NL Cy Young Award winner is 6-2 with a 1.25 ERA since last season against them and owns a 1.32 ERA in 15 career starts, the lowest of any team he has faced at least three times.

As for Bumgarner (13-7, 2.97), he tossed a complete game five-hitter of his own during Tuesday's 6-1 victory, and looks to keep it up tonight against L.A. Bummy is 3-2 with a 2.25 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 48 innings since the All-Star break, but will be facing the Dodgers for the first time this year, against whom he is 4-2 with a 3.72 ERA in six career outings.

Don't forget to watch out for Matt Kemp and Buster Posey, both in the mix for NL MVP this season. Kemp is currently in an 0-for-15 slump but is batting .385 with a homer, three doubles and four RBIs in six games against the Giants this year. He is 2-11 lifetime against Bumgarner with three stikeouts and three walks to his credit.

As for Posey, he is batting .300 with one RBI in eight games against the Dodgers this year. He still owns a .424 average with a 1.246 OPS since the All-Star break along with nine homers and 34 RBI.

First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.

For more on the Giants head to McCovey Chronicles.

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