National League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, September 9th (All times eastern)
Los Angeles Dodgers (74-66) at San Francisco Giants (78-61), 8:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Los Angeles - Joe Blanton (9-12, 4.92) San Francisco - Barry Zito (10-8, 4.51)
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Dodgers had hoped to have ace Clayton Kershaw on the hill in the finale of their three-game set with the San Francisco Giants on Sunday. But, he was scratched just hours before the start and instead the Dodgers will turn to Joe Blanton to deliver them a series win at AT&T Park.
Although, the Dodgers did not give a specific reason as to why Kershaw would not be pitching, the National League's reigning Cy Young Award winner had been dealing with some foot issues of late.
So, it will be Blanton, who has struggled since coming over the Dodgers in a trade with Philadelphia, posting a 1-3 mark to go along with a 6.17 ERA in six starts. He did not get a decision on Monday against San Diego, as he allowed three runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings of a 4-3 win.
He lost to the Giants on Aug. 21 and is just 2-5 in 10 starts against them with a 4.91 ERA.
San Francisco, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Barry Zito, who is 10-8 with a 4.51 ERA. Zito did not get a decision on Monday against Arizona, as the Diamondbacks reached him four runs and seven hits in five innings of a 9-8 win.
"He was throwing great and he was hitting his spots," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "He started leaving some pitches up and they started getting some two-strike hits off him."
Zito has faced the Dodgers 24 times (23 starts) and is 7-10 against them with a 3.90 ERA.
Los Angeles picked up a game on the NL West-leading Giants on Saturday, as Adrian Gonzalez led off the ninth inning with a triple and scored the go-ahead run on Hanley Ramirez's double in the Dodgers' 3-2 win.
The Dodgers had lost three straight games, including Friday's series-opener, and trailed 2-1 in the eighth when pinch-runner Alex Castellanos scored the tying run on a wild pitch by Matt Cain.
Ronald Belisario (5-1) worked around a pair of walks in the bottom half and Gonzalez began the ninth with his first triple of the season before Ramirez lined a double to center off Jeremy Affeldt (1-2).
Brandon League allowed Gregor Blanco's two-out double in the home half before lining out Hector Sanchez to pick up his second save of the season.
The Dodgers, who announced on Saturday that All-Star Matt Kemp will miss at least the rest of the series to undergo an MRI on his left shoulder, now trail the Giants by 4 1/2 games in the division.
"It gives us a chance to win the series," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of Saturday's result. "It's kind of a life line for us, trying to win a series...pick up a game."
Buster Posey went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI in the loss.
San Francisco is 8-6 versus the Dodgers this season.
09/09 17:38:39 ET