Giants-Dodgers Preview

After struggling to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier this

season, the San Francisco Giants have finally found some success

against their NL West rival.

The Giants seek to sweep a two-game set at Chavez Ravine, beat

the Dodgers for a fourth straight time overall and end Chad

Billingsley’s recent success against them Thursday night.

Cody Ross hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the ninth inning

Wednesday to help San Francisco (23-19) avoid a third straight loss

and beat Los Angeles 8-5. Ross’ shot came after the Dodgers tied

the game with a three-run eighth in which Giants closer Brian

Wilson blew his second save.

“We definitely needed this one,” Ross said. “We just keep

battling and grinding and don’t give up.”

San Francisco has won three in a row over Los Angeles (20-24)

after losing four of the first five meetings this season. The

Dodgers (20-24) have dropped four of five overall.

“It’s a tough loss, but at the same time, you take pride in

coming back and grow from that,” Los Angeles infielder Aaron Miles

said.

Ross was 2 for 4 and scored three runs as the Giants totaled

scored more than four for the first time in 13 games. Ross is

batting .346 with three homers and nine RBIs over his last nine

games, but is 1 for 6 lifetime versus Billingsley (2-3, 3.36

ERA).

The Dodgers right-hander hopes for some better luck after he

allowed one run, one hit and struck out eight in eight innings of a

1-0 loss to Arizona on Saturday.

It was the fourth time in nine starts that Billingsley pitched

at least seven innings, but he is 0-2 in those outings while

getting two total runs of support. Billingsley’s ERA is 1.64 over

his last three starts.

“You can only control what you control,” he said.

Now, he looks to win his fourth straight home start against the

Giants and improve upon his 5-1 record and 2.56 ERA in eight career

outings versus San Francisco at Dodger Stadium. Billingsley allowed

a three-run homer to Brandon Belt and four other hits in six

innings of a 4-3 home victory over the Giants on April 1.

San Francisco counters with Madison Bumgarner (0-6, 4.25), whose

luck may be even worse than Billingsley’s and who will try a ninth

time for his first win of 2011.

Bumgarner has limited opponents to five earned runs over 25

innings while striking out 25 in his last four starts, but has an

0-3 record to show for it.

The left-hander gave up three runs in six innings of an 11-4

loss at Chicago on Friday.

“He’s throwing the ball well enough to get a win,” San

Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. “But we’re just having a hard

time finding a way to get him one.”

Bumgarner is 1-1 with a 5.06 ERA as a starter versus Los

Angeles. The defeat came April 11 at home, when he yielded five

runs and four walks in five innings of a 6-1 loss.

Matt Kemp, 3 for 3 against Bumgarner, has homered in each of the

last two games for the Dodgers.

Los Angeles outfielder Andre Ethier, who had a 30-game hitting

streak snapped earlier this month, is 0 for 17 in his last five

games. He’s 1 for 6 in his career versus Bumgarner.