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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, July 25 (All times Eastern)

Los Angeles Dodgers (56-47) at San Francisco Giants (57-45), 10:15 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Los Angeles - Zack Greinke (11-6, 2.90) San Francisco - Tim Lincecum (9-6, 3.65)

(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Francisco Giants have lost only three of their previous 10 meetings with the Los Angeles Dodgers this season, but two of those have come at the hand of Zack Greinke.

Greinke eyes a 12th victory on the season Friday night when the Dodgers begin a big three-game set with the Giants.

San Francisco sits 1 1/2 games up on Los Angeles for first place in the National League West, having won 10 of its last 16. The Giants, though, did own a 9 1/2-game lead for the top spot as late as June 7 before the Dodgers started to get on a roll.

However, Los Angeles has lost four of its past six to allow San Francisco to pad its edge over so slightly.

Now Greinke will attempt to cut into that advantage and avoid a third straight losing start. He struggled early on Saturday in St. Louis, giving up four runs on a two-run homer and two-run single in the opening frame. Greinke did not allow a run after that, but was touched for six hits and five walks over his 5 2/3-inning outing.

'That first inning is always the dangerous inning. They got him early," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly on Greinke.

The 30-year-old righty is 11-6 with a 2.90 earned run average this season, picking up two wins over the Giants. Both did come in Los Angeles and he is 2-0 in his career with San Francisco, posting a 2.96 ERA in four starts.

Los Angeles is playing the third and final leg of a nine-game road trip and could have outfielder Yasiel Puig back in the lineup. He did not start for a fourth straight game on Wednesday due to a hand injury, bud did pinch-hit in the eighth inning of a 6-1 setback to Pittsburgh and remained in the game.

Shortstop Hanley Ramirez, meanwhile, sat out a third game in a row with a wrist injury and remains day-to-day.

The Giants also are coming off a loss as they failed in an attempt to record a four-game sweep of Philadelphia, losing Thursday's finale 2-1. Tim Hudson took a tough-luck loss, charged with two unearned runs over six innings.

San Francisco next turns to right-hander Tim Lincecum and the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner is rounding into form as a starter and also earned his first career save on Tuesday. He recorded the finale two outs of the 14th inning to lock down a 9-6 win.

"Just get outs," Lincecum said following his second career relief appearance. "I've been in that situation coming out of the bullpen before. I was just trying to do my best to control my emotions."

Two days earlier, Lincecum lost for the first time in five starts after giving up three runs across seven innings at Miami with seven strikeouts. However, he still sits at 4-1 with a 0.96 ERA in his last five games as a starter and 9-6 with a 3.65 ERA on the season.

The 30-year-old is 9-6 in his career versus the Dodgers, posting a 2.88 ERA in 24 games. All but one of those have been starts.

07/25 10:49:11 ET

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