Giants-Dodgers Preview


The San Francisco Giants' offense has slowed to a crawl during the team's first set of back-to-back losses in two weeks. Josh Beckett will look to keep their bats subdued as he seeks his first victory in more than 19 months.

San Francisco hopes to re-ignite its hitting Thursday night when it visits the Los Angeles Dodgers for the opener of a four-game set.

The Giants (21-13) had won 10 of 11 prior to losses in Pittsburgh on Tuesday and Wednesday. They totaled 38 extra-base hits while averaging 5.4 runs during the 10-1 run before scoring four runs with three extra-base hits in the last two games.

Buster Posey got Wednesday off but enters 16 for 37 (.432) with three homers and seven RBIs over his last 10 games. Pablo Sandoval also didn't start in the series finale after injuring his left thumb Tuesday, though he singled as a pinch-hitter. Sandoval is hitting .174 and is 4 for 26 over his last eight games.

San Francisco might be able to rely more on Brandon Belt, who homered and doubled Wednesday while driving in all three runs. He was 5 for 8 in the series after going 2 for 29 over his previous nine games.

Belt has been effective recently against the Dodgers, batting .371 with 12 RBIs over his last 16 matchups. He hit safely in each game as the Giants took four of six from Los Angeles last month.

Belt is 1 for 5 against Beckett (0-1, 3.14 ERA), who allowed four runs and eight hits over 6 2-3 innings in a 6-3 defeat at Miami on Friday. He's without a win in 13 straight starts, last recording a victory Sept. 30, 2012, against Colorado.

"I want the team to get the victory. I don't care who gets the win," Beckett said. "For me, if the team wins, I'm happy."

Beckett also hasn't defeated the Giants in three matchups since becoming a Dodger, going 0-2 with a 3.63 ERA. He's 4-5 with a 3.43 ERA in 10 meetings.

The Dodgers (19-16) are also coming off a loss, 3-2 at Washington on Wednesday. They lost four of their last six on a nine-game road trip.

''We're just, like, treading water right now. We're treading water, a few games over .500 in a really good division. Haven't quite hit our stride yet,'' pitcher Dan Haren said. ''I'm sure we're going to go on a run sooner or later.''

Yasiel Puig was 1 for 3 after missing two games following a collision with the outfield fence Sunday at Miami. He's hitting .405 with 12 RBIs over his last 10 games.

Matt Kemp struck out as a pinch-hitter for Wednesday's final out, not starting after manager Don Mattingly said he "seemed a little tired" after Tuesday's 8-3 win.

Los Angeles will face Ryan Vogelsong (1-1, 4.60), who has limited his last two opponents to one run over 13 innings after posting a 7.71 ERA through his first four starts.

Vogelsong didn't receive a decision in two outings against the Dodgers last month after yielding five runs in 10 innings, though they were both San Francisco victories. He's 4-3 with a 3.97 ERA in 21 games - 12 starts - versus Los Angeles.

Dee Gordon is 9 for 23 off Vogelsong, while Hunter Pence is 8 for 19 when facing Beckett.

Hanley Ramirez hit .421 with two solo homers in five games against the Giants last month.

San Francisco has won nine of the last 12 meetings.

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