(Sports Network) - After getting swept in four games at St. Louis over the weekend, the Los Angeles Dodgers are back at home and will try to regroup in tonight's opener of a three-game set versus the NL West-rival San Francisco Giants at Chavez Ravine.
Pitching and scoring runs is what usually propels teams to victory. The Dodgers did none of that against the Cardinals, but did show signs of hope in a 5-4 loss Sunday afternoon at Busch Stadium. With the Dodgers clinging to a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the ninth, closer Jonathan Broxton gave up four hits and a pair of runs with two outs to absorb the loss. Allen Craig and Matt Holliday lifted the home team to victory with back-to-back RBI singles.
"I got myself in bad counts and walked guys," Broxton said.
Vicente Padilla started for LA and did his part with six shutout innings, while Travis Schlichting gave up two runs before Justin Miller permitted another in relief. Broxton then tossed the final 1 1/3 frames.
Matt Kemp, Garret Anderson and Padilla each drove in a run for the Dodgers, who are 5 1/2 games behind San Diego for bragging rights in the competitive National League West Division. Los Angeles will also host the New York Mets for four games on this residency.
The Dodgers are expected to call up right-handed pitcher James McDonald from Triple-A Albuquerque for tonight's start. McDonald is 6-1 with a 4.41 earned run average in 12 starts for the Isotopes this season and is expected to make his fifth career start tonight. In 45 games (4 starts) for LA last season, McDonald went 5-5 with a 4.00 ERA.
McDonald has faced San Francisco seven times in relief, going 0-0 with a 1.93 ERA over 9 1/3 innings of work.
Meanwhile, the Giants were aiming for their sixth straight win and a three- game sweep of the New York Mets before suffering a 4-3 setback in 10 innings on Sunday. Closer Brian Wilson gave up the go-ahead RBI double to Ike Davis in the top of the 10th and suffered the loss after the Giants failed to produce any runs in the home half.
Travis Ishikawa tied the game off Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez with a pinch-hit two-run single in the bottom of the ninth and Buster Posey knocked in the other run for the Giants, who lost for only the second time in 11 tries and fell 4 1/2 games off the lead in the NL West.
"This club's been resilient. We showed it last road trip and now we have to bounce back from this one," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said on the team's site. "This was a tough one. This is one we had and I feel for those guys because they battled hard. But we've got to be ready to go [Monday] and we know we have to play better in our division and put this behind us."
Jonathan Sanchez started for Bochy's club yesterday and did not record a decision for hurling seven innings of two-run ball. The Giants, who will host Arizona for four games by the Bay on this homestand, are expected to send young pitching prospect Madison Bumgarner to the mound Monday night.
Bumgarner is 2-2 with a 2.57 earned run average in four starts this season and has won back-to-back starts. In a 6-2 win at Washington the previous time out on July 11, he held the Nationals to one run on seven hits in six innings. The lefty faced the Dodgers once in relief during a 12-1 road loss on September 19 last season and struck out a pair of batters.
Los Angeles has won five of the first six matchups with San Francisco this season and is riding a four-game winning streak in the series. The Dodgers swept the Giants in three games by the Bay from June 28-30 and have won 11 of the past 15 meeting between the ballclubs.