After yet another 3-1 loss Friday night, the Los Angeles Dodgers now move onto game three of a four-game series against the San Francisco Giants. The rivalry got heated in Friday’s game as words were exchanged between Yasiel Puig and Madison Bumgarner after the Cuban right-fielder blasted a solo home run off the Giants starter in the sixth inning. Moments later, Don Mattingly got into an argument with umpire Will Little over the strike zone and it resulted the manager’s ejection.
The stakes are high for the Dodgers as they come into today’s game having lost five of their last six games and they now trail the Giants by 4.5 games in the NL West. The weight rests on Zack Greinke’s shoulders today as he tries to turn things around for the Dodgers.
The right-hander’s last start was cut short due to a rain delay, but prior to that outing, the starter has been dominant as he has routinely pitched deep into games and has not given up more than two runs per outing. On the season so far, Greinke is 5-1 with a 2.35 ERA and has the potential to spark a turning point for the struggling Dodgers.
The Dodger lineup faces Matt Cain, who is 0-3 on the season with a 4.35 ERA. The right-hander is making his first outing since cutting the tip of his index finger that forced him to miss time. In his only start against the Dodgers this year, the 29-year-old starter allowed five runs in six innings, giving up home runs to Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez.
Despite hitting a career .429 off Cain, Andre Ethier is not in Saturday’s lineup. Instead, Carl Crawford, who has been swinging a hot bat, gets the start in left field. Juan Uribe, who is still recovering from a strained hamstring, is also out of the lineup and he is replaced by Chone Figgins. The veteran utility infielder had a pinch-hit appearance and makes just his second start of the season.
The Giants will be hurting today without Brandon Belt, who suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch during yesterday’s game. The first baseman will be out for at least six weeks, and the Giants offense will be without a .264 batter who has nine home runs and 18 RBIs so far on the season.