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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, September 8th (All times eastern)

Los Angeles Dodgers (73-66) at San Francisco Giants (78-60), 4:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Los Angeles - Chris Capuano (11-10, 3.63) San Francisco - Matt Cain (13-5, 2.98)

(Sports Network) - Matt Cain aims to stretch San Francisco's lead atop the National League West on Saturday when the Giants continue a three-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers at AT&T Park.

Cain, though, will need to be better than he was on Sunday in Chicago when the lowly Cubs ripped him for five runs and six hits in five innings. He did not get a decision in that one, but the Giants won, 7-5.

"I thought he had good stuff today," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He just made a couple of mistakes."

It was just the fourth time this season Cain failed to go at least six innings, but three of those starts have come in the past five weeks. Still, he's 13-5 on the year with a 2.98 ERA.

Cain started his career by losing eight consecutive decisions to the Dodgers, but he is 4-0 with a 2.02 ERA in his last seven starts against them. His most recent win came on Aug. 22 when he limited the Dodgers to a run in seven innings.

Opposing Cain will be Dodgers left-hander Chris Capuano, who is 11-10 with a 3.63 ERA, but has just one win in his last eight starts. Capuano did not get a decision on Sunday against Arizona, as he surrendered three runs and four hits in five innings of a 5-4 win.

Capuano lost to Cain and the Giants in that Aug. 22 encounter and is a mere 1-6 lifetime against them with a 5.58 ERA in 11 games (7 starts).

San Francisco drew first blood in this set on Friday, as Marco Scutaro slapped a go-ahead, two-run single in the bottom of the seventh inning, lifting the Giants to a 5-2 triumph.

Angel Pagan registered three hits, an RBI and a run scored, while Brandon Crawford scored twice for the Giants, who have won four straight against the Dodgers and extended their NL West lead to 5 1/2 games over L.A.

Santiago Casilla (7-5) earned the victory for recording the final two outs of the seventh inning in relief of starter Tim Lincecum, who allowed two runs on four hits and a career-high seven walks.

"It started with Timmy and the great job he did," Bochy said of his starter. "He did a terrific job tonight and once we got some guys on base we had some timely hits."

Josh Beckett (1-2) was tagged with the loss after giving up four runs on seven hits and three walks over 6 1/3 innings, while Adam Kennedy clubbed a solo shot in the setback, the Dodgers' third in a row.

"I gotta pitch better," Beckett admitted. "They didn't bring me over here to pitch okay, they brought me over here to pitch good and that's what I need to do."

The last three series between the Giants and Dodgers have all ended in sweeps, with the Giants winning two of them, including a three-game set from Aug. 20-22. The two teams will close the season with a three-game set in Los Angeles.

09/08 10:40:16 ET