Dodgers-Giants Preview

The Associated Press

Yasiel Puig is a big reason why the Los Angeles Dodgers have a chance to overtake the San Francisco Giants atop the NL West.

Now Clayton Kershaw could be the one to get them over the hump.

After Puig tied a 113-year-old franchise record, Kershaw attempts to put together the longest winning streak by a Dodgers pitcher in 11 years Saturday night against the Giants.

The Dodgers (57-47) are one-half game behind San Francisco (57-46), which boosted its rotation for the stretch run by acquiring right-hander Jake Peavy from Boston on Saturday for a pair of minor league pitchers, after opening this three-game set with Friday's 8-1 victory.

Puig did a lot of the damage, becoming the franchise's first to hit three triples in a game since Brooklyn's Jimmy Sheckard in 1901. The All-Star right fielder, who started in center, also added a double, two RBIs and two runs as he continued to torment the Giants.

He is a career .349 hitter against the division rivals, and he's 14 for 35 (.400) with eight extra-base hits over the past nine meetings.

His outburst contributed to the Dodgers' first five-triple game since 1921.

"I thought, 'Oh my God. They are hitting,'" Giants center fielder Gregor Blanco said. "They were aggressive the whole game and hitting the ball good."

Puig and the rest of the lineup may not need to do much at the plate with Kershaw (11-2, 1.92 ERA) getting the ball.

The two-time Cy Young winner owns baseball's lowest ERA and is 8-0 with a 1.06 mark and 88 strikeouts in 68 innings over his last nine outings. Another victory would give the left-hander the longest winning streak for Los Angeles since Kevin Brown won nine straight decisions over a 10-game stretch from April 29-June 17, 2003.

Kershaw, though, didn't perform up to his lofty standards while not figuring in the decision of a 4-3 win at St. Louis on Sunday. He battled through 109 pitches in seven innings, allowing three runs with eight strikeouts.

"It was a struggle," said Kershaw. "I didn't have a great idea where the ball was going for most of the night and I left some balls up."

He's 4-1 with a 1.67 ERA over his last seven against the Giants. However, the last two ended in Dodgers losses while Kershaw went 0-1 while allowing six runs in 14 innings.

San Francisco has totaled 13 hits - all singles - and two runs over the past two games, and Hunter Pence and Buster Posey are a combined 1 for 14 over that stretch after going 0 for 7 in the series opener.

It's not about to get any easier for them since Posey is a .204 hitter versus Kershaw, while Pence is 4 for 41.

Ryan Vogelsong (5-7, 3.99) is all too familiar with that type of production while going 0-4 with a 3.58 ERA in five starts. He didn't get any supporting runs in the first four games of that stretch and squandered the three he received Monday, allowing four runs and 11 hits in three-plus innings of a 7-4 win at Philadelphia.

Ending his personal slide would give Vogelsong his first win over the Dodgers since June 26, 2012. He's 0-1 with a 3.92 ERA in seven starts since, but he's allowed two runs in 13 1-3 innings over the past two. He has no record to show for it, though, since he was backed by one run in each contest.

Vogelsong may need to slow down Dee Gordon, who is 10 for 26 (.385) against him. The second baseman is 11 for 26 (.423) with three doubles and a triple in six games after getting a triple on one of his three hits Friday.