Giants-Dodgers Preview

The last time San Francisco and Los Angeles met, the Giants shut out the Dodgers to continue a trend in what’s been a lopsided season series.

After nearly a month apart, such a loss would normally be an afterthought entering the next meeting, but it wasn’t any ordinary shutout. It wasn’t a perfect game. It wasn’t a no-hitter. It wasn’t even a complete game from a San Francisco starter.

It was a series shutout, something neither team had been a part of in one of at least three games since 2012 – also with the Giants blanking the Dodgers in three – so it figures to be on the minds of both teams Friday night at Dodger Stadium as the scoreless streak could reach historic levels.

The Giants have won seven of nine over the Dodgers, though both losses came in a three-game series in Los Angeles from April 27-29. What followed from May 19-21 was a three-game sweep that extended San Francisco’s shutout streak against the Dodgers to 31 innings.

That’s tied for the Giants’ best since moving from New York and the franchise’s eighth longest dating to 1912 against an opponent, bringing the record of 38 innings against Philadelphia from 1917-18 within reach. Thirty-eight is also the Dodgers’ franchise record dating to 1912 for consecutive scoreless innings – which came at the hands of the Boston Bees in 1937 – and the current run is tied for the fifth longest in club history.

Another blanking would match the Giants’ four straight shutouts of the Phillies in 1917-18 and hand the Dodgers their first four-game stretch against an opponent without scoring.

San Francisco (36-32) might have foreshadowed its role in history with Thursday’s 7-0 win in Seattle, while Los Angeles (38-29) needed a ninth-inning balk to score in a 1-0 walk-off win over Texas.

The Dodgers ended a three-game losing streak but have scored seven runs in the last four. Adrian Gonzalez is in a 5-for-46 slump, and the first baseman has batted .155 in his last 16 games against the Giants.

Having Yasiel Puig back in the lineup against San Francisco could help. He’s a career .317 hitter against the Giants and missed the May series.

He’ll face Chris Heston (6-5, 3.76 ERA), making his first start in the rivalry after appearing in relief twice last season.

"Any time we’re squaring off against the Dodgers, it’s a big series," Heston told MLB’s official website. "The teams battle it out every year for the division."

This will be his second start since throwing a no-hitter June 9 against the New York Mets at Citi Field, and the follow-up effort was mediocre. The right-hander gave up three runs – two earned – in five innings of Sunday’s 4-0 home loss to Arizona.

In five starts following outings in which he allowed more than an earned run, he’s 4-0 with a 1.93 ERA.

Los Angeles’ Mike Bolsinger has evened out over his last four starts with a 1-1 record and 3.97 ERA. Bolsinger (4-1, 2.25) allowed two runs and six hits with three walks in 4 2-3 innings of Sunday’s 4-2 win in San Diego, his shortest outing of the year.

"The bullpen came in and saved the day," Bolsinger said after Los Angeles relievers went 7 1-3 scoreless as part of a current six-game stretch with a 1.04 ERA.

The right-hander had started the season by going 3-0 with a 0.71 mark in four starts. The only game he didn’t win in that span was his season debut against the Giants, in which he gave up a run in 5 2-3 innings of a 3-2 road loss April 23. He faced them twice last season with Arizona and is 0-2 with a 3.44 ERA in the three games.