As the San Francisco Giants try to continue their recent success against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Madison Bumgarner hopes to do the same on the mound and, considering his most recent outing, with the bat.
The left-hander looks to help the Giants complete a three-game home sweep of the Dodgers on Thursday.
Bumgarner (2-0, 3.31 ERA) allowed four runs and nine hits in six innings Friday against Colorado, but he helped his own cause by hitting a grand slam during the 6-5 victory. Bumgarner, who hit the second grand slam by a Giants pitcher since the team relocated from New York to San Francisco in 1958, also delivered a sacrifice fly.
"They don't really expect a whole lot out of pitchers so we get to go up there with no pressure," said Bumgarner, who is 2 for 3 this season. ''It's easier to hit that way, but at the same time it's the hardest thing to do in sports."
However, Bumgarner's focus will be on rebounding from that mound performance and remaining tough on the Dodgers (9-6), against whom he's won three straight and has a 1.70 ERA during a 5-1 stretch. He gave up two runs and struck out 10 over 6 1-3 innings of a 7-2 win at Dodger Stadium on April 5.
Bumgarner has a 2.70 ERA while winning his last three starts versus Los Angeles at home.
"He's just like anybody else. If he can command down and away, down and in, up and away and up and in, and crisscross the strike zone, it makes it tough," said Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who is 3 for 23 with two doubles against Bumgarner.
Gonzalez is batting .326 with five homers and 13 RBIs during an 11-game hitting streak, but he went 2 for 9 while Los Angeles dropped a pair of one-run games in this series.
The Giants (10-5) won for the ninth time in 11 meetings with their NL West rival, 2-1 on Wednesday. Pablo Sandoval had two hits, including a tiebreaking single in the seventh, as San Francisco won its third straight in its six consecutive game decided by one run.
Teammate Angel Pagan is batting .383 while hitting safely in all but one game, and he's 5 for 8 against Los Angeles starter Hyun-jin Ryu (2-1, 2.57).
The left-hander went 2-2 with a 2.48 ERA in five starts against the Giants during his first major league season in 2013, but was tagged for eight runs - six earned - in two innings of an 8-4 home defeat April 4.
Ryu bounced back by yielding two hits and striking out eight with one walk over seven innings of a 6-0 victory at Arizona on Friday.
''Because I got hit around last game, I was trying a little harder," he said.
It's uncertain if Los Angeles shortstop Hanley Ramirez will be in the lineup after he left in the seventh inning Wednesday when he got hit on the top of his left hand by a pitch. X-rays were negative on Ramirez, who is batting .421 (8 for 19) with two homers against San Francisco this season.
''It got me good,'' Ramirez said. ''It's sore a little bit. I iced it twice already and I'll go back to the hotel and try to ice it twice before I go to bed so I can be in there (Thursday).''