Facing the San Francisco Giants could help Los Angeles' Clayton Kershaw rebound after allowing his most runs of the season the last time out.
The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner looks for a better performance as he tries to continue his dominance of the Giants on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.
Kershaw (2-0, 2.63 ERA) allowed six earned runs in his first five starts before he gave up five in 7 1-3 innings of an 8-5 loss at Colorado on Wednesday. Four of those came via three homers.
"I had a couple of mistakes that just happened to get over the fence, which is frustrating,'' Kershaw said. "But that's the way it goes.''
It's gone very well for Kershaw versus San Francisco. He's 6-1 with a 1.27 ERA in 11 career starts against the Giants, yielding five earned runs and striking out 49 over 42 innings while going 5-0 in six outings in 2011.
Kershaw improved to 2-0 with a 2.06 ERA in six home starts after he gave up one run in 7 1-3 innings of a 2-1 victory Sept. 20 for his 20th win of 2011.
He looks to lead the NL West-leading Dodgers (19-10) to a fifth consecutive home victory after they scored eight times in their final three at-bats to beat San Francisco 9-1 on Monday. Matt Kemp went 3 for 3 while Andre Ethier added two RBIs to raise his major league-leading total to 30 as Los Angeles won its first home game under Guggenheim Baseball Management - the new ownership group that includes Magic Johnson.
"Guys are excited," manager Don Mattingly told the Dodgers' official website. "It is an exciting time for us."
After a tight hamstring relegated Kemp to a pinch-hitting role in Sunday's 4-3, 11-inning loss at Chicago, he appeared fine in the series opener. Kemp, who leads the majors with a .406 average, has batted .514 (18 for 35) in his last 10 games versus San Francisco at Dodger Stadium.
He is 3 for 9 with a triple and a homer against scheduled starter Ryan Vogelsong (0-2, 3.42), who will try a fifth time for his first win.
Vogelsong has gone at least six innings in each of his four starts. He allowed two runs and eight hits while walking four in a 3-2 loss to Miami on Thursday.
Vogelsong is 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA in four starts versus Los Angeles.
While the Dodgers had more than one reason to celebrate Monday, the series-opening defeat ended a rough day for the Giants (14-15). The team learned earlier in the day that reliever Guillermo Mota was suspended 100 games after becoming the third major league player penalized twice for positive drug tests.
"It is what it is, and you move on,'' said manager Bruce Bochy, who watched two relievers combine to allow six runs in two innings Monday.
Shortstop Joaquin Arias had three hits with the lone RBI and Angel Pagan had his 20-game hitting streak come to an end as the Giants lost for the fifth time in seven games.
Pagan hit .315 with four homers and seven RBIs during the streak, which tied him with injured teammate Pablo Sandoval for the longest in the majors this season. He's 2 for 5 versus Kershaw.