One day after clinching their fifth straight National League West title, the Los Angeles Dodgers might rest a few regulars Saturday as they continue their three-game series against the visiting San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers received a three-run homer from rookie Cody Bellinger in Friday’s 4-2 victory, which snapped a surprising nine-game losing streak at home.
Bellinger broke the NL rookie home-run record with his 39th blast in the win, which allowed Los Angeles to exhale following a stretch during which they lost 16 of 17 from Aug. 26-Sept. 11. Corey Seager returned to the starting lineup Friday after missing one game with lingering elbow soreness, but Justin Turner sat out with a thumb contusion and is listed as day-to-day. While the Dodgers can plan for the NL Division Series, the Giants are trying to secure three victories over their final eight games to avoid their first 100-loss season since 1985. Pablo Sandoval has broken out of a lengthy slump by going 8-for-15 with two doubles and two homers over his last four games, including Friday’s solo blast off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen.
TV: 9:10 p.m. ET, MLB Network, NBCSN Bay Area (San Francisco), SportsNet LA (Los Angeles)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Giants LH Madison Bumgarner (3-9, 3.48 ERA) vs. Dodgers LH Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-7, 3.46)
Bumgarner lost his fourth straight start last Saturday despite holding Arizona to two runs over seven frames. The encouraging outing came after the four-time All-Star allowed 11 runs and 15 hits over his previous two turns. Kike Hernandez is 13-for-27 with three home runs against Bumgarner, who tossed seven scoreless innings against Los Angeles on July 30 and is 1-4 with a 3.24 ERA in his last eight starts versus the Dodgers.
Ryu pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings against Washington on Sunday but was removed after issuing back-to-back walks with two outs in the fifth. The 30-year-old South Korean has gone 3-1 with a 2.62 ERA in 11 starts since June 17 but is unlikely to be a part of the Dodgers’ postseason rotation. Hunter Pence is 12-for-28 with seven RBIs against Ryu, who has gone 4-5 with a 3.36 ERA in 11 career starts against San Francisco - including seven scoreless frames on July 30.
1. The Dodgers lead the race for the best record in the major leagues by two games over Cleveland.
2. Giants rookie INF Ryder Jones has recorded four hits in his last 33 at-bats, striking out 20 times over that stretch.
3. Los Angeles RHP Kenta Maeda will move to the bullpen next week as the team begins to finalize its postseason pitching staff.
PREDICTION: Giants 5, Dodgers 3