Los Angeles (49-40) at San Francisco (38-48)

Fair Currently: San Francisco, CA
Temp: 73° F
  • Game info: 10:15 pm EDT Fri Jul 13, 2007
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The only highlight of the San Francisco Giants’ season so far has been Barry Bonds’ pursuit of baseball’s all-time home run record.

Bonds will continue his pursuit of Hank Aaron’s hallowed mark in his first game after the All-Star break when the last-place Giants open a three-game home set against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night.

Bonds has 17 homers this year and is four shy of tying Aaron’s record 755. The seven-time NL MVP has hit 11 homers this season at AT&T Park, but hasn’t gone deep there since June 29.

“I’m really not there yet,” said Bonds, who’s only career hit against scheduled starter Chad Billingsley (5-0, 3.62 ERA) was a homer. “I think when you get to 54, I’ll really feel it.”

After facing Los Angeles, the Giants embark on a seven-game road trip to Chicago and Milwaukee.

In the All-Star game played at his home park on Tuesday night, Bonds went 0-for-2 with a flyout to deep left field.

While Bonds’ continues his historic chase, the Giants come out of the break looking to continue their recent resurgence.

San Francisco (38-48) has won five of its last eight, but still is in last place in the NL West and 10 1/2 games behind division-leading San Diego. The Giants failed to complete a three-game road sweep of St. Louis after losing 7-0 to the Cardinals on Sunday.

“The bad thing is we’re 10 games out,” said Bonds, who went 0-for-6 with five walks in the series. “The good is we’re going to turn it around in the second half.”

To do that the Giants need to improve offensively—their 365 runs are second only to Washington’s 326 for the fewest in the NL. San Francisco also has lost eight straight at home to Los Angeles, including a three-game sweep from April 6-8 in which the Giants scored just six runs.

Matt Cain (3-9, 3.53 ERA) takes the mound for the Giants on Friday. He allowed four runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings, but still earned the win in San Francisco’s 9-5 victory on July 4 in Cincinnati.

The right-hander is 0-2 with an 8.56 ERA in three starts against the Dodgers.

Though the Dodgers swept the Giants in early April, they were swept by San Francisco from April 24-26 at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles (49-40) beat Florida 9-3 on Sunday to snap a four-game slide. The Dodgers are one game behind San Diego in the NL West, but hold a two-game lead over Atlanta in the NL wild card.

“We’re in a good position to come out in the second half and win our division,” Dodgers left fielder Luis Gonzalez told the team’s official Web site. “When you go into the break, you hope that you’re in contention for the second-half push.”

All-Star catcher Russell Martin went 2-for-3 with a homer and three RBIs for the Dodgers on Sunday. Martin, who went 0-for-3 in his first All-Star appearance Tuesday, looks to carry over his performance from before the break where he hit .306 while leading the team with 11 homers and 60 RBIs.

Billingsley, who’s scheduled to make his fifth start in place of the injured Jason Schmidt, allowed three runs and six hits in five innings but didn’t factor in a 6-5 loss in 10 innings to Florida last Friday.

The right-hander is 1-0 with a 4.58 as a starter in 2007 after in 23 relief appearances.

Billingsley is 1-0 with a 7.56 ERA in three games - one start - against the Giants. He allowed three runs in two innings of relief in a 10-4 loss on April 8.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Billingsley Phi vs. M. Cain SF
12-5 Record 7-16
3.31 ERA 3.65
141 K 163
64 BB 79
1.33 WHIP 1.26


Friday, Jul 13