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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, May 11th (All times Eastern)

San Francisco Giants (23-14) at Los Angeles Dodgers (20-18), 4:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: San Francisco - Tim Hudson (4-2, 1.99) Los Angeles - Clayton Kershaw (2-0, 0.66)

(SportsNetwork.com) - Having started in Australia and on the East Coast around a stint on the disabled list, Clayton Kershaw is finally set to make his 2014 home debut.

The left-hander will try to pitch his Los Angeles Dodgers to a series split on Sunday afternoon in the finale of a four-game series with the San Francisco Giants.

Kershaw pitched the Dodgers to a 3-1 win over Arizona on March 22 in the opener of a two-game set in Australia, giving up a run over 6 2/3 innings.

However, he was then sidelined due to a muscle strain in his upper back and did not return to action until Tuesday in a road meeting with the Washington Nationals.

It was a successful return for Kershaw, who spun seven scoreless innings of an 8-3 win. The 26-year-old worked around nine hits and did not walk a batter while striking out nine.

"I just missed pitching in the big leagues," Kershaw said. "It's a special thing to get to do, and I try not to take it for granted. Six weeks felt like a long time but I had fun tonight, it's good to be back."

The Giants probably aren't glad to see Kershaw back as the hurler is 11-5 lifetime in this series with a 1.38 earned run average.

Tim Hudson will face Los Angeles for the first time in a San Francisco uniform today.

The 38-year-old righty is 4-2 with a 1.99 ERA in his first season with the Giants and 6-4 in his career versus the Dodgers with a 3.49 ERA.

Despite a second straight outing of lasting 8 2/3 innings, Hudson was denied a third victory in a row on Tuesday with a 2-1 loss at Pittsburgh. He gave up two runs -- one earned -- on five hits and a walk, charged with the winning run on an error in the ninth.

Pittsburgh's Starling Marte hit a triple to right with two outs and the throw attempt to third by Ehire Adrianza got away from Pablo Sandoval. Marte raced home and was originally called out at the plate, but the Pirates challenged and the call was overturned.

"That's the kind of baseball we live in I guess nowadays with the replay," said Hudson. "You never know what the outcome is going to be until you get the final conclusion."

The Dodgers rallied from an early hole to pick up a 6-2 win on Saturday. Dee Gordon hit a go-ahead RBI double in the seventh, while Matt Kemp hit a solo homer and drove in two runs as the Dodgers snapped a three-game losing streak.

Drew Butera and Yasiel Puig also drove in a run each to help Zack Greinke snag the win. He worked seven innings, allowing six hits and two runs while fanning eight and walking three.

"We needed a win for some energy," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "Down 2-0, it felt like we were down 10, honestly. Getting runs back were like a shot in the arm. Dee created energy all over the place. Obviously, we were going in the wrong direction. These are like a two-game swing."

Hunter Pence and Buster Posey drove in a run apiece for the Giants, who had won eight of their previous 10, including the first two games of this set.

Jeremy Affeldt was charged with two runs on three hits in 1 2/3 relief frames, while starter Matt Cain returned from the 15-day disabled list to give up two runs on three hits with four walks in five-plus innings.

"We had too many missed opportunities," Giants manager Bruce Bochy lamented. "We had them on the ropes several times. ... That was the difference in the game."

The Giants have played well this season against Los Angeles, going 6-3, and are 11-4 in the past 15 matchups between the division foes.

05/11 10:47:28 ET

Local & North Carolina state news from Raleigh, NC | NewsObserver.com
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