Giants looking to contain long ball
San Francisco (2-5) at Los Angeles (5-3), 7:10 p.m. PT
LOS ANGELES -- Keeping the ball in the park is among several elements of the game where the Giants could use improvement, in manager Bruce Bochy's estimation.Statistics prove that Bochy has a point. The Giants have allowed 10 home runs in seven games, a ratio that would prompt concern under any circumstances. But what nags Bochy is that the Giants have played all of their games in so-called "pitchers' parks" -- AT&T Park in San Francisco, spacious PETCO Park in San Diego and here at Dodger Stadium. San Francisco has surrendered at least one home run in all but two games. Bochy said that the mistakes pitchers have made revolve around location, not pitch selection.
"We're not getting the ball where we want," Bochy said.San Francisco escaped Monday's series opener against the Dodgers without allowing a home run to Manny Ramirez, who still ripped a long double and flied out to deep right field. The Giants' solution: They didn't let Ramirez swing the bat. Ramirez walked in his other two plate appearances, including one intentional pass. Bochy indicated that the Dodgers slugger might receive the Barry Bonds treatment for the rest of the season, with pitchers skirting him more than they challenge him. "Sure, pitchers are going to be careful with him," Bochy said, adding that Ramirez might be satisfied with taking ball four in certain instances. "He's got a great eye." Since joining the Dodgers last year, Ramirez has hit .414 (12-for-29) with two home runs and seven RBIs against the Giants. In his career against them, he's a .362 hitter (17-for-47) with five homers and 14 RBIs. Against Wednesday's starter for the Giants, Matt Cain, Ramirez is hitting .250 (2-for-8) with one homer and four RBIs. For his career against Barry Zito, San Francisco's starter Thursday, Ramirez is hitting .235 (8-for-34) with three homers and 10 RBIs. When Zito's at his best, he can feast on right-handed-batting power hitters who are liable to overswing at his curveball. Pitching matchup
SF: RHP Matt Cain (1-0, 1.29 ERA)
Coming off a 7-1 victory in his 2009 debut against Milwaukee, Cain will try to beat the Dodgers for the first time. Cain, who allowed just four hits and one run over seven innings against the Brewers, is 0-6 in 11 career starts against the Dodgers. He was 0-3 last season when, typically, he suffered some hard-luck losses. In six starts against the Dodgers in 2008, the power-pitching Cain posted a 2.79 ERA. The Dodgers hit just .257 against him. His final two starts of the year came against the Dodgers. He pitched a combined 13 innings and allowed two earned runs but came away with a no-decision and a loss. LAD: LHP Clayton Kershaw (0-0, 1.80 ERA)
In his first start of the year, Kershaw pumped fastballs and the occasional changeup for three innings against the Padres before making the adjustment that found his curveball. By then, his pitch count was so high he had to leave after only five innings, having thrown 105 pitches. He allowed one run on two hits, but walked four while striking out six. Tidbits
Randy Winn and Fred Lewis remain the only Giants to have hit safely in each game. Lewis extended his streak with a first-inning single Monday, while Winn prolonged his consistency with a third-inning single. ... The Giants still have not generated a save opportunity for Brian Wilson, a 2008 National League All-Star who finished with 41 saves. ... When Orlando Hudson hit for the cycle against the Giants on Monday, he became the sixth opponent to do so since the franchise moved west in 1958. The others were Pittsburgh's Richie Zisk (June 9, 1974), Houston's Bob Watson (June 24, 1977), Chicago's Andre Dawson (April 29, 1987), Montreal's Rondell White (June 11, 1995) and Oakland's Eric Byrnes (June 29, 2003). Tickets
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Thursday: Giants (Barry Zito, 0-1, 9.00) at Dodgers (Eric Stults, 1-0, 1.69), 7:10 p.m. PT
Friday: Giants (Jonathan Sanchez, 0-1, 9.64) vs. Diamondbacks (TBD), 7:15 p.m. PT
Saturday: Giants (Tim Lincecum, 0-1, 7.56) vs. Diamondbacks (Dan Haren, 0-2, 2.08), 1:05 p.m. PT
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.