The Los Angeles Dodgers continued their divisional trip right where they left off their previous series, stifling the opposition with another dominant pitching performance.
Ricky Nolasco looks to continue the trend Wednesday night at San Francisco, but he's coming off two forgettable outings - including one against the Giants.
Coming off a series in which they limited San Diego to two runs and 10 hits in three games, the Dodgers (91-66) claimed a 2-1 victory over San Francisco on Tuesday, holding the Giants to five hits. Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig each provided home runs, while Hyun-Jin Ryu's only surrendered run over seven innings was Tony Abreu's homer. Brian Wilson - pitching at San Francisco for the first time as a member of the visiting team - threw a perfect eighth inning and Kenley Jansen wrapped up the game for his 28th save.
Opponents are hitting .126 against the Dodgers over the last four games with 40 strikeouts. The bullpen has thrown 13 2-3 scoreless innings over the last five contests.
Nolasco (13-10, 3.55 ERA) had gone 6-0 with a 1.17 ERA over a seven-start stretch before permitting seven runs and seven hits in 1 1-3 innings - matching the shortest start of his career - in a 19-3 loss to San Francisco on Sept 14.
He wasn't much better five days later, yielding six runs and nine hits in five innings of a 7-6 win at Arizona and didn't get a decision. All the runs came in the third inning after he had been staked to a 3-0 lead.
"I felt like after three (innings), Ricky started to protect the lead and lost his aggressiveness," catcher A.J. Ellis told the team's official website. "He got it back the last two innings. In hindsight, we should have been more aggressive."
A number of Giants have had success against Nolasco, with Hunter Pence going 10 for 31 with four homers, including four hits in five at-bats this season. Pablo Sandoval is 7 for 15 with two homers, while Gregor Blanco is 8 for 16 off him.
Making perhaps his final start for the Giants (72-85) will be left-hander Barry Zito (4-11, 5.91). San Francisco owns an $18 club option to retain him for next year.
Zito has dropped three straight starts while allowing 15 runs over 11 2-3 innings, surrendering 20 hits - including four home runs - and six walks. He hasn't recorded a victory since May 30.
"I can't tell you how much we pull for him. He's such a good teammate," manager Bruce Bochy. "I know he's in a tough rut and you don't want to see anybody go through those rough streaks. You hate to see him have to go through it."
San Francisco has scored two or fewer runs in five consecutive contests.
"We just couldn't get much off them offensively," Bochy said. "We're cold right now."
Another win by the Dodgers on Wednesday would even the season series at nine wins for each team. Los Angeles hasn't won the season series since 2009.
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