The Dodgers' offense has been prone to taking the night off in all five of Nathan Eovaldi's starts so far this season. The Giants themselves may need to big effort out of their bats tonight given Barry Zito's current losing streak.
Los Angeles tries to get Eovaldi a well-deserved win this evening in the opener of a three-game series against Zito-led San Francisco.
Eovaldi, a 2008 draft pick, joined the Dodgers' rotation on May 29 after making 10 appearances last season, and has not allowed more than three runs in any of his five outings. However, despite a 2.35 earned run average he is 0-3.
Los Angeles has lost all five of his starts while getting outscored 12-5. Only three of those runs have come with the right-hander on the mound.
The three runs that Eovaldi gave up at Oakland on Wednesday were a season high and he also allowed seven hits and three walks in a 4-1 defeat. The 22-year- old dropped to 0-2 with a 2.55 ERA in three road outings this season and will face the Giants for the first time.
While Eovaldi has kept his team in all five games he has pitched, Zito hasn't given his club much of a chance over a three-game slide that has seen the left-handed former Cy Young winner pitch to a 10.67 ERA with just six strikeouts.
Zito's slide was extended on Tuesday at the Angels as he was touched for a season-high eight earned runs on nine hits and three walks in 3 1/3 frames, the third time this season he failed to pitch past the fourth inning. Zito's outing got off to a rough start as he allowed a three-run homer to Albert Pujols as part of a four-run first.
"Barry attacked the zone, but he got too much of the zone," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said about Zito. "He made too many mistakes. He didn't have his good location tonight."
The 34-year-old's current slide has dropped his season numbers to 5-5 with a 4.35 ERA in 14 starts. That does include an outing in Los Angeles on May 7, one that resulted in a loss for Zito after he yielded three runs on eight hits and four walks over six frames. He fell to 6-9 with a 3.99 ERA lifetime versus the Dodgers.
The Giants will hope to cut into the Dodgers' three-game lead over them for first place in the National League West, something they failed to do on Sunday thanks to a walk-off defeat versus the Athletics.
San Francisco seemed poised for the three-game sweep, but saw closer Santiago Casilla give up singles to Yoenis Cespedes and Brandon Inge before Derek Norris launched the first homer of his career.
"I know I think about it, I'm sure Casilla thinks about it too," catcher Buster Posey said of their approach to Norris at the plate. "He's a fastball pitcher and you have to give the hitter some credit too."
Matt Cain started for the Giants and allowed one run on three hits and struck out seven. Posey hit a two-run homer and Ryan Theriot had two hits and scored a run.
The Giants failed to make up ground as the Dodgers were handed a 5-3 loss by the Angels on Sunday.
Dee Gordon had two hits and drove in a run for the Dodgers, who have lost five of their last six games. Aaron Harang gave up three runs on eight hits over six innings in the start and Josh Lindblom was charged with the loss after giving up two runs in the seventh.
Bobby Abreu and Adam Kennedy also drove in a run each.
"I thought our bats were solid all series," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "We have to give ourselves a few more chances to get them in. The Angels are tough, aggressive and a good club."
The Dodgers have won seven of their past 10 versus the Giants, taking two of three at home over San Francisco from May 7-9.