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Dodgers resume rivalry with Giants

Dodgers resume rivalry with Giants

After starting a trio of pitchers with a combined 11 Major League career victories in the just-concluded three-game series against the Rockies, the Dodgers get to send out a real veteran Monday night as Randy Wolf opens the series with the Giants in San Francisco, followed by staff ace Chad Billingsley.

Even after Sunday's loss, the Dodgers remain in first place and get to play a Giants team they swept in the home-opening three-game series in Los Angeles. Within the division, the Dodgers are 12-4.

"Any time you play well in the division it's big, because it adds up," catcher Russell Martin said. "But no matter who we're playing, we have to keep playing good baseball. We let one slip away [Sunday], but that's all right. We have to move on to the Giants and they're playing better baseball. We've got to be ready to play."

Wolf is coming off a no-decision in Houston on Wednesday night, when he was charged with four runs over seven innings. He didn't face the Giants in Los Angeles and is 6-4 against them lifetime with a 3.70 ERA.

The Dodgers are expected to return Manny Ramirez, Casey Blake and Rafael Furcal to the lineup Monday night. Each did not start Sunday, with only Blake seeing action and walking as a pinch-hitter.

The offense scored four runs without Ramirez on Sunday, as Juan Pierre took over in left field and went 2-for-4 with a walk and a run scored as the leadoff hitter. But Blake DeWitt and Juan Castro, who started for Blake and Furcal, went 0-for-8.

The hot hitter for the Dodgers on this trip is James Loney, who went 3-for-5 Sunday with two doubles, three RBIs and a run scored. Loney is 9-for-19 over his past five games.

Sunday's blowout loss allowed the Dodgers to give the back end of the bullpen a second day of rest, so Jonathan Broxton, Hong-Chih Kuo and Ronald Belisario should be available Monday night.

Pitching matchup
LAD: LHP Randy Wolf (1-1, 4.26 ERA)
Wolf had a so-so outing against the Astros last time out, giving up four runs and eight hits in seven innings, ending up with a no-decision. Wolf will be making his first appearance of the season against the Giants. In 13 games vs. San Francisco Wolf has gone 6-4 with a 3.70 ERA. He has 67 strikeouts over that span and has issued 32 walks.

SF: LHP Barry Zito (0-2, 5.63 ERA)
Zito is coming off one of his best outings as a Giant, holding the Padres scoreless through seven in Wednesday's 2-0 win. That marked only the sixth time he'd gone at least seven shutout innings in 69 starts for San Francisco. Zito's last win, in his penultimate 2008 start, came in Dodger Stadium. Manny Ramirez, who feeds on other lefties, brings out the best in Zito, who has held him to a lifetime .222 average, albeit three of Ramirez's eight hits off him have left the park.

Tidbits
Further fueling speculation about the composition of the Dodgers' young starting rotation, veteran Eric Milton pitched six scoreless innings Sunday for Triple-A Albuquerque. Milton allowed only two hits one day after Jeff Weaver made his first start for Albuquerque. ... When James McDonald earned his first Major League victory and Ramon Troncoso his first Major League save in the same game Saturday night, it was the first time that happened for the Dodgers since Steve Schmoll and Yhency Brazoban pulled off the combination April 8, 2005, according to Elias Sports Bureau. ... Orlando Hudson went 0-for-4 with a walk on Sunday, snapping his hitting streak at 11 games. ... The 10 runs the Dodgers allowed Sunday were a season high. ... Since his two-homer game against Colorado last Sunday, Matt Kemp is 4-for-22.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• KCAL

On radio
• KABC 790, KHJ 930 (Español)

Up next
• Tuesday: Dodgers (Chad Billingsley, 4-0, 2.05) at Giants (Jonathan Sanchez, 1-1, 3.65), 7:15 p.m. PT
• Wednesday: Dodgers (Eric Stults, 2-0, 3.52) at Giants (Tim Lincecum, 1-1, 2.96), 7:15 p.m. PT
• Thursday: Dodgers (James McDonald, 1-1, 7.11) vs. Padres (Shawn Hill, 1-1, 5.25), 7:10 p.m. PT

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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