San Francisco (43-61) at Los Angeles (52-52)

Fair Currently: Los Angeles, CA
Temp: 78° F
  • Game info: 10:10 pm EDT Mon Jul 28, 2008
  • TV: CSBA, PRIME
Preview | Box Score | Recap

When the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants met earlier this month, both teams were in contention for first place in the NL West. Only one still has playoff aspirations.

The Dodgers look to win their fourth straight game and continue their pursuit of first place when these division rivals open a three-game series Monday at Chavez Ravine.

Entering a three-game set at San Francisco (43-61) on July 4, Los Angeles was 1 1/2 games behind Arizona for the division lead, while the Giants were five games back.

The Dodgers (52-52) took two of three that weekend, and have now won seven of their last 10 to move within one game of the Diamondbacks.

The Giants, meanwhile, have lost 12 of their last 16 games to fall 10 games off the pace.

Los Angeles defeated Washington 2-0 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep, climbing back to the .500 mark for the first time since May 30. The Dodgers have not been above .500 since they were 26-25 on May 27.

“It’s been a rough road to get back to the point where we’re at right now,” former Giant Jeff Kent said. “I think you always look for a grab-bag prize, and maybe this is it. Maybe this will take the pressure off.”

Los Angeles allowed a total of just two runs and 12 hits in the three games versus the Nationals.

The Giants, meanwhile, were on the wrong end of a weekend sweep, culminating with a 7-2 loss to the Diamondbacks on Sunday. San Francisco was outscored 22-7 in the series.

Dodgers first baseman James Loney hit his ninth home run of the season Sunday, and is batting .419 (13-for-31) with two homers and eight RBIs in nine games since the All-Star break. He’s also 8-for-22 (.364) with four doubles and four RBIs in six games versus the Giants in 2008.

Hiroki Kuroda (5-7, 3.98 ERA) looks to break out of his second-half funk when he faces the Giants for the first time.

Kuroda is 0-1 with a 11.25 ERA in his two starts since the All-Star break.

On Wednesday, the Japanese right-hander gave up five runs and nine hits in six innings of a 5-3 loss at Colorado. He hopes to bounce back at Dodger Stadium, where he is 3-0 with a 1.37 ERA in his last five outings.

San Francisco counters with Kevin Correia (1-5, 5.71), who once again seeks his first victory since the second week of the season.

Correia gave up four runs and a career-high 12 hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 6-4 win over Washington on Wednesday, when he was not a factor in the decision. It was just the second win for the Giants in Correia’s 11 starts.

The right-hander, who missed time earlier this season with a strained oblique, is 0-2 with a 6.68 ERA in six starts since coming off the disabled list. He earned his only win April 10.

Correia is 2-1 with a 5.06 ERA in 16 games - three starts - lifetime versus the Dodgers.

Giants center fielder Aaron Rowand is 9-for-20 (.450) with four RBIs in six games against Los Angeles this season, and is batting .421 (16-for-38) with seven doubles and seven RBIs in 10 career games at Dodger Stadium.

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Starting Pitchers

K. Correia LAD vs. H. Kuroda NYY
3-8 Record 9-10
6.05 ERA 3.73
66 K 116
47 BB 42
1.71 WHIP 1.22

Scoreboard

Monday, Jul 28