07/31/10 3:23 AM ET
Workhorse Billingsley ready to face Giants
By John Barone / MLB.com
"My junior year in high school, we made the regionals and I started the semifinals and pitched seven innings, allowed one hit in a night game with about 100 pitches," said Billingsley, who will oppose lefty Barry Zito and the Giants at AT&T Park. "The next day I started in right field, but our pitcher got into a jam in the first inning. They brought me in with the bases loaded, I got out of the jam and then went back to the outfield.
"Two innings later, they brought me back in to pitch and I finished up the last four innings.
"After that, I was tired."
Billingsley also said he once threw 180 pitches in a high school game. It's safe to assume Saturday's outing -- his 120th big league start -- won't last that long, though the 26-year-old doesn't anticipate physical limitations.
"My arm feels good," Billingsley said. "If I needed an extra day, I wouldn't have offered to pitch. If my body and my arm weren't able to do it, I wouldn't do it."
Billingsley is doing it because of the five-game suspension being served by teammate Clayton Kershaw, who hit Giants center fielder Aaron Rowand with a pitch on July 20.
San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy expects a return to normalcy this weekend.
"Winning ballgames is what's important, not the other stuff," said Bochy, whose second-place Giants lead the Dodgers by 4 1/2 games in the National League West standings. "That's the way both teams are going to be playing. You're at that stage now at the end of July when, sure, it's the dog days, but it also becomes more of a sprint. Every game is so important."
Dodgers: Ruling the West
Los Angeles owns a Major League-best 25-11 record against divisional opponents. ... Reliever Hong-Chih Kuo has reeled off 15 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings, lowering his ERA to 0.76.
Giants: Wall honors for Aurilia, Estes
The Giants will induct Rich Aurilia and Shawn Estes into the club's Wall of Fame in a pregame ceremony Saturday. The Wall recognizes retired players for their achievements and longevity. ... San Francisco is 41-11 in games when it scores first. ... Catcher Buster Posey's 42 July hits mark a single-month franchise rookie record, shared with Jim Ray Hart.
Los Angeles has neither lost a season series nor finished behind San Francisco in the NL West since 2005. ... Billingsley is 5-2 with a 3.22 ERA in 17 lifetime appearances against the Giants. ... Zito has a 2.18 ERA across three starts opposite the Dodgers this season.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.