Giants-Dodgers Preview

The San Francisco Giants arrived in Los Angeles trailing the

Dodgers in the NL West.

If the Giants can win the series finale, they’ll leave town with

their largest lead in four weeks.

San Francisco seeks its first three-game sweep at Dodger Stadium

in five years Wednesday night.

The Giants (68-55) stole the Dodgers’ one-half game division

lead with a 2-1 victory in Monday’s series opener, then won 4-1 on

Tuesday night to take a 1 1/2-game advantage over their rivals.

Buster Posey, who started at first base for the Giants while

Hector Sanchez took his usual spot behind the plate, opened the

scoring Tuesday with a two-run single in the first inning. San

Francisco added two more in the fourth on a RBI single by Brandon

Crawford and a double by Angel Pagan.

Pagan, who had three hits and threw out a runner at the plate,

is batting .478 with three doubles during a five-game hitting


The Giants, who last swept a three-game series at Chavez Ravine

from April 24-26, 2007, are exacting some revenge after the Dodgers

(67-57) swept three games in San Francisco at the end of July to

create a virtual tie atop the West. Now, San Francisco can secure

its largest lead since it was 2 1/2 games up July 25.

All the Giants need for that to happen is another win from Matt

Cain (12-5, 2.90 ERA).

Cain has allowed three runs over 15 1-3 innings to win his last

two starts after going 0-2 with a 5.26 ERA in his previous four. He

permitted one run and four hits while striking out six and walking

none in eight innings of a 10-1 rout at San Diego on Friday.

“He’s tough when he’s on,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, “and

he was on (Friday).”

Cain is especially tough when he gets some run support.

Since 2010, Cain is 31-1 with a 2.54 ERA in the 45 games he has

received at least three runs of support, with San Francisco winning

40 times.

Cain allowed three runs and nine hits in seven innings against

the Dodgers on July 27, when the Giants lost 5-3 in 10 innings at


Los Angeles outfielder Andre Ethier is mired in an 0-for-16

slump, but is batting .480 in 50 career at-bats against Cain – his

highest average against any pitcher he has faced at least 17


Teammate Matt Kemp – 1 for 20 in his last six games – may not be

as excited to face Cain considering he’s 2 for 16 in their matchups

since 2010.

The Giants have won four of six since Melky Cabrera’s

drug-related suspension, but they may face a tough challenge

Wednesday against Los Angeles starter Chris Capuano (11-8,


Capuano has a 2.01 ERA in three starts this month, striking out

24 and walking five in 22 1-3 innings. He gave up three runs – two

after he had departed – and five hits in 7 1-3 innings of a 4-3,

11-inning loss against Atlanta on Friday.

Capuano has also been sharp in his 12 starts at Dodger Stadium,

posting a 2.17 ERA – the NL’s third-best home mark. Unfortunately

for the left-hander, Los Angeles has supported him with two runs or

fewer in eight of those contests, leaving him with a 5-4


This will be Capuano’s first taste of the Dodgers’ rivalry with

the Giants after going 0-2 with a 2.92 ERA in two starts against

them last year with the New York Mets.