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San Francisco at Los Angeles

Venue: Dodger Stadium

Behind one of baseball's top pitching staffs, the surging San Francisco Giants have gotten off to a strong start in their season series with the rival Los Angeles Dodgers.

Now they might need that pitching more than ever entering a stretch without one of the NL's top sluggers.

While Brandon Belt is headed to the disabled list, Matt Cain is slated to come off it Saturday, and he'll look to lead visiting San Francisco to a seventh win in nine meetings with the Dodgers.

The first-place Giants (23-13) rank among major league leaders with a 3.01 ERA, and they've pitched particularly well with a 2.28 mark in their eight meetings with Los Angeles (19-18).

Madison Bumgarner became the latest San Francisco hurler to stymie the Dodgers on Friday when he held them to one run over eight innings in a 3-1 victory in the second of a four-game set.

However, the Giants' 12th win in 15 games proved costly when Belt suffered a broken left thumb when he was hit by a pitch in the second inning. The first baseman ranks among NL leaders with nine home runs while hitting .264 with 18 RBIs, and is expected to be sidelined for at least six weeks, according to manager Bruce Bochy.

"That's a blow for us because of the job he does at first base and the fact that he hits in the heart of our order," Bochy said.

It would certainly make things easier if Cain (0-3, 4.65 ERA) can continue the team's run of success on the mound. The right-hander appears ready to return after he sliced the tip of his right index finger while trying to make a sandwich.

While his winless start can partly be attributed to receiving a combined six runs of support in his first four outings, Cain has only himself to blame after a rough performance in a 12-10, 11-inning win at Colorado on April 23. He gave up two homers while yielding seven runs over six-plus innings.

He served up three home runs - two to Matt Kemp and one to Hanley Ramirez - in six innings of a 6-2 loss at Dodger Stadium on April 6. That marked the only time the Giants gave up more than four runs to Los Angeles this season.

Kemp is 4 for 11 with three homers against Cain the past two seasons, while Ramirez has gone 4 for 10 over that span.

The Dodgers, who have lost a season-high three in a row, haven't scored more than two runs in four of their last five games. Adrian Gonzalez is 1 for 27 in his last seven, but Yasiel Puig is batting .405 over a nine-game hitting streak after homering Friday.

That home run sparked some tension, as Puig flipped his bat after making contact and took a slow trot around the bases. Bumgarner walked toward the third base line and had a few choice words for Puig as he approached home plate.

''Honestly, I think Puig overreacted a little bit. I don't know,'' Dodgers teammate Scott Van Slyke said.

Puig is 3 for 8 with a homer and two doubles lifetime against Cain.

Los Angeles starter Zack Greinke (5-1, 2.35) also opposed Cain in early April, allowing two runs in six innings for his first win in three career starts versus the Dodgers.

The right-hander should be well-rested after throwing only 54 pitches over three innings Monday in Washington before a rain delay ended his night. He gave up two runs and five hits in a 4-0 defeat.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
San Francisco2nd NL West8268.54746-4 L 3
Los Angeles1st NL West8664.573-8-2 W 3 Shop

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San Francisco
E. AdrianzaHamstring
M. CainElbow
M. MorseHip
H. SanchezHead
M. ScutaroBack
Los Angeles
J. BeckettHip, groin
C. BillingsleyElbow
C. FigginsQuadriceps
O. GarciaElbow
P. MaholmKnee
P. RodriguezShoulder
H. RyuShoulder
C. WithrowElbow
Series Game Log
Apr 25LADCOL 5-4Brothers Wright 
Apr 26LADLAD 6-3Maholm Nicasio 
Apr 27LADCOL 6-1De La Rosa Ryu 
Jun 6COLLAD 7-2Ryu Butler 
Jun 7COLCOL 5-4Morales Perez 
Jun 8COLLAD 6-1Kershaw De La Rosa 
Jun 16LADLAD 6-1Ryu Matzek 
Jun 17LADLAD 4-2Greinke Chacin 
Jun 18LADLAD 8-0Kershaw De La Rosa 
Jul 3COLLAD 3-2Greinke Hawkins 
Jul 4COLLAD 9-0Kershaw Jurrjens 
Jul 5COLCOL 8-7De La Rosa Haren 
Jul 6COLLAD 8-2Beckett Flande 
Sep 15COLLAD 11-3Wright Bergman 
Sep 16COL 8:40 PM EDT  
Sep 17COL 3:10 PM EDT  
Sep 26LAD10:10 PM EDT  
Sep 27LAD 9:10 PM EDT  
Sep 28LAD 4:10 PM EDT