Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants
- The Dodgers lost at home to the Rockies on Wednesday, 7-3, and have alternated wins and losses over their last six games.
- The Giants completed a three-game sweep in Arizona with a 9-6 victory on Wednesday night. The three wins were preceded by a five-game losing skein, which came after a four-game winning streak, which followed three consecutive defeats.
- The Dodgers are hitting .211 (45/23) with runners in scoring position this season, fourth lowest in the majors; in their 14 losses, the club is 12-for-100 (.120) with RISP.
- Matt Kemp has a lifetime average of .436 (24/55) versus Barry Zito, with three home runs, nine RBI and a 1.163 OPS.
- Clayton Kershaw has made 17 career starts versus the Giants, and he has allowed more than two earned runs only once; his lifetime ERA of 1.28 (18/127.0) against them is the lowest of any pitcher since 1921 (minimum 7 starts).
- Pablo Sandoval is hitting .396 (19/48) over his last 11 games, with two home runs, nine RBI and an OPS of exactly 1.000.
- 2-time Cy Young winner Halladay retires
- Torre, La Russa, Cox elected to Hall
- Maddon understands Rays may move Price
- Winter meetings open quietly in Florida
- Schilling replaces Hershiser on SNB
By NICOLINO DIBENEDETTO
(AP) -- Matt Cain is trying to halt his worst start to a season and help the San Francisco Giants to a sixth consecutive win.
Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu looks to end San Francisco's run with a third straight dazzling effort.
After his team posted back-to-back walkoff wins, Cain again goes for his first victory as the Giants seek a three-game sweep of the Dodgers on Sunday night.
Cain (0-2, 6.49 ERA) has failed to win through six starts for the first time in his nine-year career, but the three-time All-Star is not entirely to blame. He's been backed by an average of 1.8 runs, second-lowest in the majors.
His best performance came on opening day versus Los Angeles, yielding four hits and striking out eight in six scoreless innings of a 4-0 road loss. He's 4-0 with a 2.00 ERA in his last 10 starts against the Dodgers.
The right-hander finally got some support Monday, when he was staked to a three-run lead after two innings at Arizona. However, he would surrender all of the Diamondbacks' runs on three homers in the fourth inning and left with the game tied after six innings in the eventual 6-4 victory.
"It's fair to say he didn't have his best stuff, but he was battling well," manager Bruce Bochy said of Cain, who has served up nine home runs in his last four starts.
Perhaps a return home can help Cain, whose 47 wins at AT&T Park are the most by any pitcher. He's 2-0 with a 1.55 ERA in four starts there against Los Angeles (13-16).
The Dodgers are countering with Ryu (3-1, 3.35), who is starting to show why they spent a $25.7 million posting fee combined with a six-year, $36 million contract to lure him from South Korea's Hanwha Eagles.
The left-hander has given up three runs and six hits in 13 innings over his last two starts, winning the most recent 6-2 over Colorado on Tuesday. He had a season-high 12 strikeouts in six innings while helping himself with an RBI single in what remains the Dodgers' last victory - they've since dropped three straight.
"He changes speeds, hit spots," manager Don Mattingly told the team's official website. "He had a good curve, a slider. He didn't use changeup as much. That's a sign of a guy who uses what he needs to. He's a tough matchup."
Ryu showed flashes of that in his major league debut April 2 against the Giants (17-12), yielding three runs - one earned - in 6 1-3 innings while his teammates managed as many hits as errors (two) in a 3-0 loss.
The Dodgers have lost four in a row to the Giants, and the first two of this series have come in dramatic fashion.
Buster Posey delivered a walkoff homer in Friday's 2-1 win, then pinch-hitter Guillermo Quiroz did the same a day later off closer Brandon League to cap a 10-9, 10-inning victory. It was the backup catcher's first homer since getting the only two of his career in 2008 with Baltimore.
Posey has four hits - three for extra bases - with four RBIs in this series, giving him a .415 average over his last 15 meetings with Los Angeles.
Pablo Sandoval, who had three hits Saturday, is on a tear over the past seven games with a .484 average, six RBIs and seven runs.
Andre Ethier is a career .450 hitter versus Cain, including 7 for 19 with two doubles and a homer since 2011. Matt Kemp, though, has two hits in his last 24 at-bats against him.
Updated May 5, 2013