Monday's series opener was the marquee matchup between Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw that was ultimately overshadowed by another Dodgers blown save. The Giants scored four runs in the ninth inning to pull off a 5-2 victory.
Up next on Tuesday is Giants lefty Andrew Suarez (4-8, 4.64 ERA) against the Dodgers lefty Alex Wood (7-6, 3.58). The closer for the Dodgers in the wake of Kenley Jansen's DL stint because of an irregular heartbeat remains to be seen.
Suarez will be making his 22nd start in his rookie season but it will be his first against the rival Dodgers. At his peak this season, Suarez gave up one earned run in four consecutive starts from June 23-July 9. Life after the All-Star break has not been so kind.
On Aug. 4, Suarez gave up eight earned runs over five innings at Arizona. On Thursday, he held the Pittsburgh Pirates to three runs but after five innings and 80 pitches, his day was done. Against the Pirates, he gave up home runs on back-to-back pitches.
Both outings ended up in a loss for Suarez, with the outing actually shining a light on the Giants' inability to score runs in the early innings.
"We can't think about that," Suarez said, according to mlb.com. "Our job is to keep it as close as possible. If we keep it close, they're eventually going to start hitting."
Wood figures to follow the same game plan Kershaw employed against the Giants when he gave up one run over eight innings. Wood will be coming off a stint on the 10-day disabled list because of left adductor tendonitis.
But getting Wood back into the starting mix was not so simple. The Dodgers moved starters Ross Stripling and Kenta Maeda to the bullpen. Those moves were not just done to create rotation vacancies, they were also done to fill the void left when Kenley Jansen went on the disabled list with an irregular heartbeat.
The Dodgers might be looking down at the Giants in the National League West standings, but manager Dave Roberts knows that games down the stretch against all of the team's West Coast rivals will be crucial.
"It will come down to how we perform in the division and that is the beauty of the scheduling because typically it's heavy-loaded in your division in September," Roberts said. "And I think, if you look at our division, I think everybody has played right around .500 baseball if you' talking about us, the Diamondbacks, the Rockies and the Giants."
In his final start before going on the DL, Wood pitched well but took the loss against the Houston Astros. He gave up one earned run over six innings. Prior to that, he won each of his last six decisions, and had a 2.61 ERA in an eight-start stretch from June 16-July 28.
Wood is 3-3 against the Giants in 12 appearances (eight starts) with a 4.22 ERA.