(Sports Network) - The chances of the San Francisco Giants snapping out of their current funk just got harder with Matt Cain slated to take the hill tonight against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the continuation of a three-game series from AT&T Park.
Cain will face the Dodgers for the first time this season and is 0-7 with a 4.13 earned run average in 13 career starts against them. Cain hasn't pitched in this series since September 11, 2009, when he allowed four runs in six innings of a 10-3 loss.
The right-hander has dropped two straight starts since a personal four-game winning streak, and was roughed up at Houston the previous time out on Thursday. Cain gave up seven runs and nine hits in 2 2/3 innings to fall to 6-6 in 15 starts this season with a 2.72 ERA. He is 4-2 in seven home starts and the Giants hope he can make it five victories tonight.
San Francisco dropped its third straight game and fifth in six tries with Monday's 4-2 loss in the opener versus Los Angeles. Freddy Sanchez and Aubrey Huff each had an RBI, while starter Barry Zito allowed two runs over six innings for the no-decision. Reliever Santiago Casilla absorbed the loss for giving up Casey Blake's go-ahead home run in the top of the eighth.
"When you're not scoring a lot of runs, those hurt," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "They stop the rallies. That hurt us tonight, no getting around it."
Bochy's club is 4 1/2 games off the lead in the National League West Division and fell to 25-15 as the host this season.
Los Angeles has alternated wins and losses over its last six games and got a huge lift from Blake last night. Manny Ramirez ended with three hits and RBI, while starter Chad Billingsley did not factor in the outcome for holding the Giants to a pair of runs in six innings. Jeff Weaver got the win with a scoreless seventh and Hong-Chih Kuo posted his second save in the ninth.
Dodgers skipper Joe Torre noted how he was able to relax now that his former club, the New York Yankees, is out of town after a weekend visit.
"I never thought I'd say I'll come to San Francisco to relax," said Torre. "Just for me personally because of the whole Yankee thing. A four-run lead in the ninth inning, to have a chance to win two out of three from the Yankees. We certainly found out a little bit about ourselves yesterday."
LA is four games behind NL West-leading San Diego in the standings and opened a six-game trek on a positive note. It is 17-20 outside of Chavez Ravine this season.
Torre will send rookie John Ely to the mound tonight and he has dropped three straight starts and sports an 0-4 mark with a 4.25 ERA in his past six trips to the mound. Ely pitched well in his most recent outing last Wednesday in a 2-1 loss against the LA Angels of Anaheim, as he yielded two runs -- one earned -- and three hits in seven frames to take the loss.
Ely, a right-hander, fell to 3-5 in 11 starts and will face the rival Giants for the first time. He is 1-4 in five trips to the visiting mound this season.
Los Angeles took two of three meetings with the Giants at Chavez Ravine back in April and has won nine of the past 13 contests between the clubs.