The Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw and San Francisco Giants' Tim Lincecum have been at their best in recent matchups against each other's teams.
Kershaw, though, has earned victories in the past four meetings between NL Cy Young Award winners and will try to earn another while helping the Dodgers extend their season-high win streak to five games Wednesday night.
Kershaw (5-5, 2.06 ERA) hasn't won since May 20 despite allowing three runs or fewer in four of his last five starts.
His latest outing wasn't one of those. He gave up four runs over six innings in a 5-2 defeat in San Diego on Friday, and the Dodgers' poor run support for him continued.
Los Angeles (34-42) gave him one run in that game and has provided him with an average of 2.7 per nine innings this season, fewest among NL starters.
"You control what you can control," Kershaw told the team's website. "I can't control wins and losses. I can control not giving up runs. I have to pitch consistently, that's all I can do."
Kershaw, though, hasn't needed too much help when facing San Francisco lately. He's 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA in the last three matchups, including two this season.
Kershaw is also 9-4 with a 1.29 ERA in 18 career starts against the Giants (38-39), his best ERA against any NL opponent.
He'll try to add to those numbers while pitching opposite Lincecum (4-7, 4.52), who is 3-0 with a 1.13 ERA in his last four starts against the Dodgers.
The right-hander has also struggled with poor run support lately, getting a combined seven runs in his last seven games. That has helped limit him to one win this month despite a 2.92 ERA in four starts.
Lincecum gave up three runs and four hits over seven innings while striking out eight Friday against Miami but did not get a decision in a 6-3 loss.
"For the most part I felt good. I just made a couple of mistakes," he said. "You think you're making the right pitches and you get groundballs, but they don't go where you want them. That's the most frustrating part of the day. They scratched out a couple of runs."
Lincecum, a two-time Cy Young winner, will square off with Kershaw for the first time since the Dodgers' left-hander won the his only award in 2011.
While trying to beat Kershaw this time, Lincecum will seek to help the Giants avoid a fourth straight loss. San Francisco's attempt to snap that skid fell just short Tuesday in a 6-5 defeat, as it dropped below .500 this late into the season for the first time since the end of the 2008 campaign.
Brandon Belt homered in the seventh and doubled in the ninth to help cut a four-run deficit. Marco Scutaro's long fly ball, though, was tracked down by Matt Kemp to end the game.
Kemp also singled in his return from a stint on the disabled list for a strained right hamstring.
"I can't play timid. I have to let it go," he said. "And if it goes, it goes. Hamstrings are tricky, and you never know when they're good. But right now it feels good and I'm glad we got the win.''
Kemp, batting .127 in his last 14 games against the Giants, is 0 for 10 versus Lincecum the past two seasons.