The Los Angeles Dodgers are facing the dream prospect of not only pulling off a sweep of their biggest rival Sunday, but they can offer a full measure of revenge and then some at the same time.
When the Dodgers were swept in a three-game series at San Francisco from June 10-12, it came at the end of a brutal two-week stretch that also included a three-game home sweep at the hands of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Los Angeles went 4-9 during a rare rough patch that began May 30.
Not only can the Dodgers sweep the Giants at home Sunday, it would be of the four-game variety to one up what San Francisco did to them last month. Since that June 12 loss in the Bay Area, the Dodgers have gone 26-7.
The Dodgers are so hot now that they will bring a seven-game winning streak into the series finale. Los Angeles also has won 14 of 15 games and 18 of 20.
All-Stars Mookie Betts, Trea Turner and Freddie Freeman all belted home runs for the Dodgers on Saturday, with Betts hitting the 200th of his career.
“I couldn’t have asked for better teammates for keeping me going,” Betts said. “They believe in me and that’s all I can really ask for. I know I’m going to play every day and I just have to do my best.”
Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw (7-2, 2.13 ERA) will make his first outing since starting for the National League in Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Los Angeles. An All-Star for the ninth time, it was Kershaw’s first start and he gave up a hit and a walk in a scoreless inning.
He has been sharp over his past three regular-season starts, giving up two combined runs (one earned). In his last outing before the break on July 15, Kershaw was perfect through seven innings against the Los Angeles Angels.
Kershaw has 53 appearances and 51 starts against the Giants, his most against any team in each category. He is 24-15 lifetime against San Francisco with a 1.91 ERA over 362 2/3 innings.
The Giants will counter with veteran right-hander Alex Cobb (3-4, 4.09), who has made 14 starts in his first season in San Francisco. After 188 major league appearances, Sunday will be the first time Cobb has faced the Dodgers.
Like Kershaw, Cobb is coming off a strong outing in which he gave up an unearned run on four hits over 7 1/3 innings against the Milwaukee Brewers on July 16. It was the third time over his past five starts that Cobb did not allow an earned run.
Despite losing the first three games of the current series, the Giants had the lead in the eighth inning Thursday, were tied in the eighth Friday and had the tying runs on base in the ninth inning Saturday. Yet, they fell to 0-5 at Dodger Stadium this season.
San Francisco third baseman Evan Longoria is expected to go on the injured list after he left Saturday’s game in the fourth inning with a strained right hamstring.
“I feel for (Longoria) as a friend, I feel for him as a player and I feel for us because obviously he’s really important to our club,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “We just got him (back), right in the middle of the lineup, playing third base and doing a really nice job.”
–Field Level Media