LOS ANGELES — The San Francisco Giants hope Matt Moore can expose weaknesses in the Los Angeles Dodgers' offense.
Moore (7-10, 4.18 ERA overall) will face Dodgers starter Ross Stripling (3-4, 4.04 ERA) in the finale of the three-game series Thursday. A win by the first-place Dodgers would allow them to sweep their archrival and increase their margin in the National League West to four games.
“Now it's time to put the foot on the pedal and keep going and try and create some separation,” said Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, whose homer Wednesday was the difference in Los Angeles' 1-0 win. “You never want to relax with those guys. They've got a great club over there.”
The Giants will be relying on Moore to help them reverse their tailspin, which has resulted in an 11-25 mark since the All-Star break, the worst in the majors. San Francisco has lost four in a row and eight of its past 10.
“We're not panicking, I don't think,” Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford said. “Yeah, we haven't been playing well, but hopefully we can turn it around.”
Moore, a southpaw, could be the answer. The Dodgers haven't been great against lefties this season. At one point, they were hitting under .200 against left-handers as a club but recently raised the average to .227, which remains last among major league clubs.
Moore had mixed results in the two times he faced the Dodgers this season as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays. In his last meeting against them on July 27 at Dodger Stadium, he struck out five, walked four and allowed only an unearned run in 6 2/3 innings in 3-1 Rays victory.
However, Los Angeles tagged Moore for seven runs and knocked him out in 4 1/3 innings in a 10-5 win on May 3 at Tampa Bay. Joc Pederson and Trayce Thompson homered off Moore.
Overall, Moore has a 5.73 ERA against the Dodgers.
Moore will be making his fifth start for the Giants since being acquired in an Aug. 1 trade with the Rays. As a Giant, Moore is 0-3 with a 4.70 ERA.
Moore suffered a loss in his last outing Saturday against the New York Mets. He allowed three runs on five hits in five innings in a 9-5 loss to the Mets.
Stripling made his major league debut at San Francisco on April 8, taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning before manager Dave Roberts pulled him after 100 pitches. Stripling struck out four and walked four in 7 1/3 innings. He didn't factor into the decision as the Dodgers' bullpen faltered in a 3-2 setback.
In his last start on Aug. 18 at Philadelphia, Stripling fanned five, walked two and allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits in five innings in another no-decision. Los Angeles fell 5-4 to the Phillies.
Stripling rejoined the rotation in early August because of a slew of injuries. In six games (three starts) since the All-Star break, Stripling is 1-1 with a 3.16 ERA. He has limited batters to a .224 average while striking out 19 and walking five.