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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, August 21st (All times Eastern)

San Francisco Giants (67-55) at Los Angeles Dodgers (67-56), 10:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: San Francisco - Tim Lincecum (6-13, 5.45) Los Angeles - Joe Blanton (8-11, 4.96)

(Sports Network) - The San Francisco Giants are back in first place in the National League West. It's up to Tim Lincecum to keep them there as he takes the hill on Tuesday night in the middle portion of a three-game series versus the second- place Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Giants moved a half-game up on the Dodgers in the division by taking Monday's opener 2-1. Madison Bumgarner fanned 10 batters over eight scoreless innings, yielding four hits without a walk.

"I had to be on my game 100 percent and make pitches," Bumgarner said. "The defense played good behind me and we had a couple of balls fall our way."

Sergio Romo gave up a two-out solo homer to Hanley Ramirez in the ninth inning and was relieved by Javier Lopez, who got Andre Ethier to ground out to end the game.

Pablo Sandoval drove in both runs for the Giants, lifting a sac fly in the first inning and smacking an RBI single in the sixth. Angel Pagan scored both times.

San Francisco has won six of nine and has split 10 meetings with the Dodgers this season.

Clayton Kershaw also had 10 strikeouts over eight innings, but saw his four- game winning streak snapped. It was just the third loss in the last nine games for the Dodgers.

"We had our hands full with Madison," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "We had only four hits until the ninth. We didn't have a lot of chances tonight."

Lincecum also hopes to limit Los Angeles' chances as he looks to avoid a third straight loss. The consecutive setbacks follow a 3-1 run and the right-hander only lasted four innings against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.

Lincecum was charged with four runs on eight hits with a walk, striking out five in the 6-4 defeat, which dropped him to 6-13 with a 5.45 earned run average through 25 starts this season.

The 28-year-old is just 3-6 with a 7.50 ERA in 12 road assignments this year.

Lincecum was solid at home the last time he faced the Dodgers, hurling seven scoreless frames of four-hit ball while striking out eight on June 27. That moved him to 6-5 with a 2.87 ERA lifetime in this matchup.

Joe Blanton seeks his first win with the Dodgers since coming over in a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies. He has gone 0-2 with an 8.22 ERA with Los Angeles and was plagued by the longball against on Thursday in Pittsburgh.

Blanton yielded three homers in a 10-6 defeat versus the Pirates, charged with eight runs on seven hits and four walks over 4 1/3 frames. He was ejected for arguing after being lifted from the game.

The 31-year-old righty has allowed 26 homers in 24 games this season, going 8-11 with a 4.96 ERA.

In nine career meetings with the Giants, he is 2-4 with a 4.75 ERA. That includes an outing with the Phillies on June 22, when Blanton got a no- decision despite allowing three runs over eight frames.

08/21 10:23:20 ET

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