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Dodgers Have Tall Task In Series Opener With Giants

(Sports Network) - Tim Lincecum goes after win No. 11 this evening when the San Francisco Giants open a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at AT&T Park.

Lincecum has not received a decision in either of his last two outings, but is 10-4 on the season with a 3.12 earned run average. He went eight innings in Arizona on Sunday, but did not factor in the decision of his team's 3-2 win, as he allowed two runs and nine hits. He also struck out five and his 143 punchouts are six short of Philadelphia ace Roy Halladay's National League lead.

The NL's reigning two-time Cy Young Award winner was roughed up by the Dodgers two starts ago, surrendering five runs in 4 2/3 innings. However, he is 4-1 lifetime against the Dodgers with a 3.54 ERA in eight starts.

Lincecum will be trying to get the Giants back on track tonight after the team was held to one hit in Thursday's finale to Florida, a 5-0 loss that also saw rookie Buster Posey's impressive 21-game hitting streak come to an end.

"I had fun with it," Posey, hitting an NL-best .427 in July, said. "I concentrated on winning ballgames as much as possible, but I guess, in a way, it's kind of nice that the attention will go back to that instead of the streak."

The Giants have still won six of eight and are 3 1/2 games back of San Diego in the National League West, while holding a 1 1/2 game edge on the Philadelphia Phillies for the wild card.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, may have hurt its division chances this week, losing the final two games of its three-game set with first-place San Diego. The Dodgers fell 3-2 on Thursday and now sit seven games back of the Padres.

James Loney homered in the loss for the Dodgers, while starter Vicente Padilla allowed two runs on four hits over four innings.

"Padilla wasn't his usual self. He was struggling and when I say struggling, he was fighting for it today," said Los Angeles manager Joe Torre. "He used up a lot of pitches early."

Getting the call this evening will be righty Carlos Monasterios, who gets another shot at the rotation. Monasterios was impressive against the Mets on Saturday, scattering six hits over five scoreless innings, but did not factor in the decision of his team's 3-2 win.

Monasterios has been shuffled between the rotation and bullpen this season and is 3-2 on the year with a 3.30 ERA.

Los Angeles has won six of nine from the Giants this season.