The Los Angeles Dodgers open up an important three-game series on the road against their division rival San Francisco Giants tonight from AT&T Park.
The Dodgers send All-Star Zack Greinke to the mound. The right-hander has posted an 11-6 record with a 2.90 ERA this season. Greinke has been quite impressive against his team’s Bay-area division rival this season, as he has recorded a 2-0 record with a 2.77 ERA in two starts. However, this will be Greinke’s first start in San Francisco as a Dodger.
The Giants counter Greinke with Tim Lincecum, who is 9-6 with a 3.65 ERA. In the right-hander’s only start against Los Angeles this season, Lincecum went five innings and gave up just one run in a Giants’ 3-2 victory in 12 innings on April 15. Lincecum received a no-decision in his team’s winning effort.
Outfielder Yasiel Puig and shortstop Hanley Ramirez return to the starting lineup. Each have missed multiple recent games with hand injuries. If both players show signs that they are healthy, it may be a difference-maker for the Dodgers in tonight’s game.
Puig is 5-for-10 lifetime against Lincecum with a 1.183 OPS, while Ramirez is batting .318 with one home run and four RBIs in his career against the Giants’ starter.
The Dodgers enter the three-game set trailing the Giants by 1.5 games in the NL West Standings. Although it’s July, several players and Don Mattingly have discussed the importance of winning this series.
Mattingly has had his eye on this series since before the All-Star break when he aligned the starting rotation so Greinke, Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu would take the ball this weekend.
Entering Friday, the Giants have won seven of 10 games played between the two teams this season ; this is their first meeting since May.
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