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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, September 26th (All times Eastern)

Los Angeles Dodgers (91-67) at San Francisco Giants (73-85), 10:15 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Los Angeles - Edinson Volquez (9-12, 5.77) San Francisco - Tim Lincecum (10-14, 4.44)

(Sports Network) - Barry Zito capped the likely end of his San Francisco Giants tenure with a victory.

Upcoming free agent Tim Lincecum will try to do the same on Thursday night when the Giants conclude a three-game set with the NL West-champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

Lincecum's two-year, $40.5 million deal is set to expire at season's end and his recent struggles suggest he may not be on the Giants' radar for next season.

While the right-hander won back-to-back NL Cy Young Awards in 2008-09 and helped deliver the Giants World Series victories in 2010 and '12, he went 10-15 with a 5.18 earned run average a season ago -- setting a career high for losses in a season -- and is 10-14 with a 4.44 ERA through 31 outings this year.

Lincecum pitched to a 3.77 ERA over a five-start unbeaten streak (4-0) before taking a loss to the New York Yankees on Friday. He was charged with four runs on five hits and two walks over 6 2/3 innings.

"I let them get some men on cheaply out there and that's on me," said Lincecum. "It was tough to watch, I put the team in a bad situation."

The 29-year-old did strike out six to surpass 1,500 for his career. He became the seventh pitcher in Giants history to reach that mark and first since Gaylord Perry in 1971.

Lincecum is 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA in three starts versus the Dodgers this season.

He'll follow Zito's swan song after the lefty helped the Giants secure a 6-4 win over the Dodgers on Wednesday. Zito allowed two runs -- one earned -- on four hits over five innings.

Zito signed a monster seven-year, $126 million deal with the Giants back in 2006 and it has a club option for next season at $18 million, but with a $7 million buyout.

"I still remember where I was when the contract was finalized and I knew it was going to be a heck of a ride, on the field and off, and it's certainly been that for me," said Zito.

Tony Abreu drove in four runs and Pablo Sandoval hit a two-run homer for the Giants, who had lost four of six.

Matt Kemp went 3-for-4 with two RBI and A.J. Ellis drove in a run for the Dodgers, who had a three-game winning streak snapped and sit two games behind Atlanta for the second-best record in the NL.

Ricky Nolasco was touched for all six runs on eight hits while fanning seven over 5 2/3 innings.

"Ricky's shown us he can throw the ball really well and he can make good pitches," manager Don Mattingly said. "I don't think Ricky has done anything that's going to change our mind (about the playoff roster)."

Edinson Volquez is hoping to be a part of the Dodgers' playoff run and he gets the start tonight.

Volquez went 9-10 with a 6.01 ERA in 27 starts this year with San Diego before getting released. He is 0-2 with a 4.30 ERA in five outings (4 starts) since joining Los Angeles and faced his former Padres club on Friday.

The 30-year-old righty had a quality start, but took a 2-0 loss. He allowed both runs -- one earned -- on five hits and four walks over 6 1/3 innings with six strikeouts.

"I used to be here and I know where the ball travels," said Volquez. "I was just trying to keep my pitches down and keep the ball in the grass when they did hit it."

Volquez is 0-1 wit ha 6.65 ERA in four encounters with the Giants this season.

San Francisco leads the season series with Los Angeles, 10-8.

09/26 10:44:30 ET

  • CBB: North Carolina vs. Ohio State

    Saturday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: UCLA vs Kentucky

    Saturday at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: San Diego at San Francisco

    Saturday at 8:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Panthers vs. Cleveland

    Monday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: NC State vs. Tennessee

    Tonight at 7:00 on WRAL-FM

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Toronto

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • CBB: Duke vs. UConn

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on 620am

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