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SAN FRANCISCO -- The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants have absolutely no complaints about the big bucks they invested in Scott Kazmir and Jeff Samardzija, respectively, over the offseason.

Even if neither ever has done much against their new rivals.

Kazmir and Samardzija will look to rewrite their personal histories Saturday night when they share the spotlight in the nationally televised battle of the top two teams in the National League West.

They will have a tough act to follow, as L.A. ace Clayton Kershaw and another Giants newcomer, Johnny Cueto, battled pitch-for-pitch in a dramatic 3-2 Dodgers win in the series opener Friday night.

The win allowed the Dodgers (33-29) to move within three games of the division-leading Giants (36-26) heading into Saturday's middle game of the three-game set.

Kazmir (5-3) had Dodgers fans wondering if the club's $48 million, three-year investment in the left-hander might have been wasted money when he struggled twice in head-to-heads with the Giants over the first two weeks of the season.

Matched up in those games against Cueto, the Giants' No. 2 starter, Kazmir never saw the fifth inning in either start, allowing six runs in a 9-6 defeat in San Francisco and four runs in a 4-3 home loss.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is willing to excuse those lapses, noting that June games carry greater significance than April.

"This is a big three-game series for us," he assured after Friday's narrow win. "Everyone in the clubhouse knows how important this win was. We're chasing these guys."

The Giants have taken two different approaches to beating Kazmir, a veteran who fashioned a fine 3.10 ERA in 31 starts for the Oakland Athletics and Houston Astros in 2015.

Buster Posey, Brandon Belt and Angel Pagan all homered in the home win, whereas the Giants used a double, six singles and four walks to knock Kazmir from the box after he'd faced just 23 batters in the rematch.

The successive losses dropped Kazmir's career record against the Giants to 1-2 with a 5.23 ERA in four starts.

This time around, he'll be dueling Samardzija (7-4) for the first time. History says that should work to his advantage.

The $90 million Giants signing over the winter has faced the Dodgers three times in his career and come up short on all three occasions, allowing 11 runs in 17 1/3 innings (5.71 ERA).

One of those matchups came April 17, when Joc Pederson's two-run homer off Samardzija was the difference in a 3-1 Giants loss.

"It's a tough one to lose," Bochy said of the series opener. "Those were two good pitchers (Kershaw and Cueto). There'll be two more (Saturday). Should be another good game."

The Giants got catcher Buster Posey back from a three-game absence Friday night. He came through with a game-tying double in the sixth inning off Kershaw, his only hit in four at-bats.