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SF@LAD: Cain fans five over seven strong innings

There's no need to remind Dodgers manager Don Mattingly about the importance of this weekend's series against the Giants.

He already knows.

Everybody already knows.

"We know where we're at," Mattingly said. "This series is a lot more important for us than for them. We need to win the series -- bottom line. We can't be swept. We need to pick up games and go forward."

A sweep by the Giants is something the Dodgers' faithful won't allow themselves to think about right now. It would be hard to blame the Giants fans if a sweep is all they can think about, especially after Friday's 5-2 victory, a win that extended San Francisco's lead over the second-place Dodgers to 5 1/2 games in the National League West.

"It's always good to get the first one, and there's a lot of attention on these games," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said after Friday's victory. "It's pretty intense out there, and really both teams played well, and it's always good to get the first one, no getting around that. Now we have to be ready to go tomorrow."

What's more, the Giants have won four in a row against the Dodgers and now lead the season series 8-5.

It will be up to Matt Cain to keep the Giants' winning streak alive Saturday. Cain allowed five runs in five innings against the Cubs in his last start, marking only the fourth time he has not pitched at least six innings this season. Three of those four starts have come in the last five weeks.

The Dodgers will counter with Chris Capuano. The lefty started the season with a 7-1 record and a 2.14 ERA but has struggled lately, going 2-6 with a 4.91 ERA in his last 10 starts.

Dodgers: Kemp scuffling since collision
Matt Kemp is 3-for-30 since returning to the lineup after running into the wall at Coors Field last month. The collision left him with a bone bruise above his knee and a bruised jaw.

• Hanley Ramirez's 10 home runs since July 25 lead the Dodgers during that span.

• The Dodgers recalled infielder/outfielder Alex Castellanos from Triple-A Albuquerque on Friday. He made his big league debut on May 31 against the Brewers and is on the Major League roster for the third time this season.

Giants: Belt blazing
Brandon Belt has hit safely in 22 of 33 games, batting .366 since Aug. 1. He went 1-for-4 Friday.

• The Giants will play 12 of their final 24 regular-season games at AT&T Park. They are 39-30 at home this season. All of their remaining games are against NL West opponents.

Worth noting
• This weekend's matchup between the Dodgers and Giants will be featured on NBC Sports Network's "Caught Looking," scheduled to air Thursday at 6 p.m. PT.

• The Dodgers are 4-7 during the current stretch of 15 consecutive games against NL West opponents.

• The first pitch for the Dodgers' Sept. 23 game in Cincinnati has been changed from 1:10 p.m. to a 8:06 p.m. ET start to accommodate the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball broadcast.

• The Giants have 36 players on their active roster after activating outfielder Justin Christian from the disabled list and promoting Yusmeiro Petit from Triple-A on Friday. Comments