With a three game lead in the NL West, the San Francisco Giants can rest assured that the Los Angeles Dodgers can't overtake them in the standings this weekend at AT&T Park, but could certainly close the gap or even erase it. But on the other side of the coin, the Black and Orange could put some serious space between them and their long time rivals.
The Giants have won all four of their series since the All-Star break, posting a 9-3 record in that span, while L.A. lost three out of four in St. Louis, owning a 6-7 record since the break. The Giants swept the Dodgers in their last visit to AT&T, and certainly would love to do it again.
Hanley Ramirez's addition to the Dodgers lineup is magnified a bit with the loss Pablo Sandoval from the Giants', not to mention Matt Kemp's ominous presence, who was not in the lineup when the Boys in Blue were swept the last time in San Francisco. But with Buster Posey batting .375 with 9 hits (2 HR) and 8 RBI over the last seven days and Melky Cabrera second in the league with a .356 average, they can hopefully bear most of the load without Sandoval.
Los Angeles is still looking for a starter for Friday's game, though San Francisco will send out Mr. Perfect, Matt Cain (10-3, 2.74). Cain was roughed up for five runs over eight innings in his last start, a no decision against the Phillies, and is making his first start against L.A. this season. He's currently 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in his last 5 starts against L.A. First pitch is set for 7:15 p.m. PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.
Chad Billingsley (5-9, 4.15) faces Barry Zito (8-6, 3.75) on Saturday. Billingsley stopped a six game losing streak in his last outing, tossing six innings of one-run ball against St. Louis, while Zito got a no decision in his last start against Philadelphia after six innings of three-run ball. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. PT with coverage on the FOX Network and KNBR 680 AM.
Clayton Kershaw (7-6, 3.14) and Ryan Vogelsong (8-4, 2.26) look horns for the third time this year on Sunday. Vogelsong got the best of the reigning NL Cy Young in their first two meetings, including a 2-0 blanking back on June 26. Kershaw got rocked for 8 runs in 5.2 innings of work in his last start, though is 4-1 with a 0.47 ERA at AT&T in his last five starts. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.
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