Dodgers-Giants Preview

(AP) - Denard Span spoke to his mother in Florida by phone last week and expressed how he still can't quite believe he's playing all the way out West in San Francisco.

''It's getting there. It's starting to sink in,'' Span said. ''A couple days ago I was kind of thinking to myself I really can't believe I'm all the way out here in California playing baseball. I was telling my mom that. I'm a Florida boy, East Coast guy. I'm out here and I'm preparing myself for an exciting season.''

Span's parents, Stanley and Wanda Wilson, are traveling from Tampa, Florida, to be in the stands for their son's home opener with the Giants on Thursday against the three-time defending division champion and rival Los Angeles Dodgers.

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''It's a beautiful ballpark. All of us are lucky to get an opportunity to have that as our home ballpark,'' Span said. ''The fans are also unbelievable. It's just an exciting feeling to come. I'm used to being on the visiting side.''

New Dodgers manager Dave Roberts makes his return to San Francisco, where he played his final two seasons of 2007 and 2008, for his first experience on the other side of this rivalry.

The Giants are off to a strong start already, having won their season-opening series in Milwaukee with two victories. Span homered and drove in five runs in his Giants debut as San Francisco won Monday's opener 12-3.

Span - out of the lineup in Wednesday's 4-3 loss because of the flu - is eager to see not only the upgraded rotation with Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija but the entire roster the Giants hope will bring them another championship in an even year this decade - like in 2010, '12 and '14.

''The whole team, man, the whole team,'' Span said. ''We've got a good team on paper. We've still got to go out there and play. It's nice to go into the season with everybody healthy and with an exciting roster.''

Matt Duffy has hit two of the Giants' six homers to go with six RBIs and Hunter Pence is 4 for 13 after injuries limited him to 52 games last season.

''Just having all the guys we had hurt last year, having those guys back, that's huge for us. We couldn't do what we wanted to do without those guys,'' Madison Bumgarner said. ''And front office, management, going out and making the additions that we did, it's going to be a really, really good team. I'm excited and I'm sure everyone else is. All the fans are excited to watch us get going.''

The fans enjoyed watching the Giants dominate their longtime rivals at AT&T Park last season, winning eight of 10 matchups.

Buster Posey hit .368 in 18 games last season against the Dodgers, who have set a major league record with 27 straight scoreless innings to open a season.

Los Angeles outscored San Diego 25-0 to sweep the three-game series at Petco Park, making the Padres the first team in baseball history to be shut out in its first three games.

"These guys are embracing (pitching coach) Rick Honeycutt and (bullpen coach) Josh Bard's game plan and executing pitches," Roberts told "Starting with Clayton Kershaw setting the tone for the staff, these guys are feeding off each other from the starters to the 'pen."

Alex Wood is up next after Japanese pitcher Kenta Maeda went six innings and homered in the second at-bat of his major league debut.

Wood went 12-12 with a 3.84 ERA in a career-high 32 starts last season, starting 12 for the Dodgers after coming over from Atlanta at the trade deadline.

The left-hander had a shaky spring, going 0-3 with a 7.13 ERA in five starts, serving up five homers in 17 2-3 innings.

He has a 7.27 ERA in three games against the Giants, making his only start in 2014.

The Giants turn to Jake Peavy, who was 8-6 with a 3.58 ERA in 19 starts last season.

The veteran missed 2 1/2 months of 2015 with a back strain but was dominant down the stretch, going 3-0 with a 1.45 ERA in his final five starts. The right-hander faced the Dodgers in one of those, and is 1-1 with a 2.86 ERA in his last five against them.

He's limited Adrian Gonzalez to two hits in 16 at-bats since 2013 and Yasiel Puig is 0 for 7 lifetime in their matchups.

Puig is 6 for 10 with a homer, two doubles and four RBIs this season and batting .391 in his last six at AT&T Park.