The last time Ryan Vogelsong and Clayton Kershaw squared off, the former came out the winner in a tight pitcher's duel.
The 2011 All-Stars oppose each other again this evening as Vogelsong and the San Francisco Giants take on the Kershaw-led Los Angeles Dodgers in the middle portion of a key three-game series between National League West rivals.
These two hurlers met in a May 8 outing in Los Angeles, with the Giants edging out a 2-1 victory. Vogelsong threw 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball in the victory, while Kershaw yielded two runs over eight frames of a tough-luck defeat.
That win for Vogelsong is part of a string of 10 straight quality starts, a run he extended on Wednesday despite having an eight-game unbeaten streak ended. The right-hander lost for the first time in seven decisions after giving up three runs over seven frames of a 6-0 defeat to the Angels.
Vogelsong yielded seven hits and fanned six without a walk, but was outdueled by Jered Weaver's six scoreless frames.
"Weaver comes off the [disabled list] and he didn't miss a beat," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We didn't put any pressure on him. A good outing by Vogy, he pitched well, we just couldn't do anything offensively."
The 34-year-old is 6-3 with a 2.41 earned run average in 13 starts, including 3-2 with a 1.47 ERA in seven at home. Vogelsong is 3-2 with a 4.17 ERA in 14 career meetings against the Dodgers, including five starts.
Kershaw, meanwhile, is coming off an excellent outing on Thursday in Oakland, but still earned a second straight no-decision. He hurled eight innings of one-run ball, yielding three hits and two walks while striking out seven as the Dodgers lost on a walk-off homer. It was the lefty's longest outing since a six-hit shutout of the Cardinals on May 19.
Kershaw is 5-3 with a 2.73 ERA in 15 starts this season and his loss to the Giants dropped the 24-year-old to 6-2 with a 1.34 ERA in 13 lifetime meetings.
The Giants inched closer to first place in the NL West with last night's 8-0 win, pulling to within two games of the Dodgers. That is the closest that San Francisco has been to the top spot since a 2 1/2-game deficit on April 9.
The Giants plated seven runs through the first two innings, with Pablo Sandoval highlighting a four-run first inning with a double that brought home two runs, while he added a sac fly in the second following consecutive run- scoring singles by Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan.
Sandoval ended with three hits and also scored twice, while both Cabrera and Pagan had two hits.
"We made contact and good things happen when you do that," Bochy said. "It was good to get early runs."
Barry Zito made good on the run support with seven scoreless innings of three- hit ball. He also scattered three walks to snap a three-game slide in which he had allowed 17 runs in 14 1/3 frames while allowing opponents to hit .377 off of him.
"Tough guy to face when you're down early," Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly said of Zito.
Nathan Eovaldi had his worst outing of the season as he allowed eight runs on 10 hits and a walk in five innings for the Dodgers, who have dropped six of their last seven contests.
The Dodgers have won seven of their past 11 versus the Giants, taking two of three at home over San Francisco from May 7-9.