(Sports Network) - Los Angeles Dodgers young starter Clayton Kershaw has never reached double digits in wins and will get a chance tonight against the NL West-rival San Francisco Giants in the continuation of a three-game series from Chavez Ravine.
Kershaw has already won a career-best nine games this season (9-5) and was 5-1 in his previous six decisions before losing to St. Louis last Thursday. In the 7-1 setback at Busch Stadium, Kershaw was reached for five runs -- four earned -- and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings.
The left-hander slightly raised his earned run average from 2.96 to 3.16 in his 19th start of the year. Kershaw, who is 5-2 in 10 home starts this season, faced San Francisco back on April 18 and did not figure into the decision of a 2-1 win. He hurled seven innings of one-run ball, struck out nine batters and allowed four walks. In three career games (2 starts) against the Giants, Kershaw is 0-0 with a 1.20 earned run average.
Kershaw is an up-and-coming hurler, but if he wants to win 10 or more games on a consistent basis, he'll just have look across the field at Giants ace Tim Lincecum. Lincecum, the two-time defending National League Cy Young Award winner, has won two straight and five of his last seven starts and will toe the Dodger Stadium rubber tonight.
The right-hander recorded his first shutout of the season the last time out on Thursday in a 2-0 victory over the New York Mets. He allowed six hits, struck out five batters and issued just one walk, improving to 10-4 with a 2.94 ERA in 19 starts.
Lincecum, who is 4-1 in nine road starts, defeated Los Angeles back on April 17 this season and tossed six shutout innings in a 9-0 drubbing. Lincecum struck out seven batters and pushed his career mark against the Dodgers to 4-1 to go along with a 2.96 ERA in eight career games (7 starts).
San Francisco kicked off a seven-game road trip against LA and Arizona with Monday's 5-2 win, as Nate Schierholtz belted a two-run homer and Pablo Sandoval ended with two hits and an RBI. Buster Posey and Freddy Sanchez each drove in a run for the Giants, who have won 10 of their last 12 games and sit four games behind San Diego for the NL West lead.
Giants young starter Madison Bumgarner picked up the win by holding the Dodgers to a pair of runs -- one earned -- and six hits in 5 2/3 innings. Brian Wilson later worked a busy ninth inning for his 26th save.
"It's fun to pitch here in this rivalry and get the win," Bumgarner said.
Los Angeles starter James McDonald didn't have much fun and was saddled with the loss, allowing four runs and nine hits in five innings. McDonald fanned five batter and issued two walks.
"I thought James had good stuff, but the numbers aren't going to look like that," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "We know we're better than we've been lately. We're not tired, just down a little bit."
Rafael Furcal finished 3-for-5 with a home run, Matt Kemp contributed three hits and an RBI and Russell Martin shook off a thumb ailment to post three hits for the Dodgers, who have dropped five in a row and fell six games off the pace in the NL West standings.
Los Angeles has won five of the first seven matchups with San Francisco this season. The Dodgers swept the Giants in three games by the Bay from June 28-30 and have won 11 of the past 16 meetings between the ballclubs.