Clayton Kershaw has been moved up a day in the Los Angeles rotation and seeks his 17th victory of the season when the Dodgers visit the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday in the middle contest of a three-game series. The left-hander will be seeking to help the Dodgers halt their 11-game slide, and their lone win in the past 17 games was a 1-0 victory with Kershaw on the mound.
Kershaw, who leads the majors with a 2.15 ERA, can also move into a tie for the major-league lead in victories with Milwaukee’s Zach Davies. Los Angeles has seen its lead over the Washington Nationals for the National League’s top record reduced to 3 1/2 games after dropping an 8-6 decision in Monday’s series opener in a rain-delayed affair that didn’t conclude until 2:10 a.m. PT. The win was only the fifth in the past 17 games for the Giants, who received homers from outfielders Denard Span and Jarrett Parker to highlight a 12-hit attack. Even though the Giants have a highly disappointing 57-89 record, they have played the Dodgers tough while splitting 14 meetings.
TV: 10:15 p.m. ET, SportsNet LA (Los Angeles), NBCSN Bay Area (San Francisco)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Dodgers LH Clayton Kershaw (16-3, 2.15 ERA) vs. Giants RHP Johnny Cueto (7-7, 4.43)
Kershaw is making his third start after missing five-plus weeks with a back injury and still has a shot at his third 20-win campaign. The 29-year-old won 12 consecutive decisions before being mauled for four runs and six hits in 3 2/3 innings while losing to the Colorado Rockies in his last turn. Kershaw is 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA in three starts against the Giants this season and is 20-9 with a 1.62 ERA in 39 career appearances (38 starts).
Cueto is pitching for the third time since recovering from a forearm injury and is looking for a strong finish to a disappointing season. The 31-year-old was an 18-game winner last season and won his first three starts this year before his campaign unraveled. Cueto is 1-1 with 5.21 ERA in three starts against the Dodgers this season and 6-7 with a 3.21 ERA in 16 career starts.
1. Giants C/1B Buster Posey had two hits and two RBIs in the opener and is 17-for-40 with seven RBIs during an 11-game hitting streak.
2. The losing streak is now the Dodgers’ longest since moving to Los Angeles and worst for the franchise since the Brooklyn Dodgers lost 16 in a row in 1944.
3. San Francisco RF Hunter Pence, who went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI on Monday, is 8-for-73 with one homer against Kershaw.
PREDICTION: Giants 3, Dodgers 1