Giants' push for .500 continues with L.A. in town

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Giants' push for .500 continues with L.A. in town

April 11, 2011

LOS ANGELES (5-4) vs.
GIANTS (4-5)

Coverage begins at 6:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Last season, the Giants marched to their first World Series title in 56 years with a record that never dipped below .500. They haven't been above .500 in 2011.

Clayton Kershaw and the archrival Los Angeles Dodgers are looking to make sure that doesn't happen in the coming days.

The Giants will try to avoid another loss to Kershaw and get their record back to the break-even mark when they face the Dodgers on Monday night in the opener of the second series between the clubs on the young season.
URBAN: 'Revenge' on Dodgers fans a senseless notion

San Francisco (4-5) went on an impressive run to its first World Series championship since 1954, finishing 92-70 to capture the NL West before winning 11 of 15 playoff games.

It may be early, but things aren't going nearly as well this season.

The Giants reached .500 for the first time over the weekend, but dropped back below the mark and saw their three-game winning streak snapped with Sunday's 6-1 loss to St. Louis.

The struggles began at Chavez Ravine.

San Francisco opened the season with a 2-1 loss at Los Angeles (5-4) on March 31, and went on to drop three of four in the series.

Kershaw (1-1, 2.08 ERA) was outstanding in the season opener, outpitching Giants ace Tim Lincecum by striking out nine while allowing four hits in seven scoreless innings. The left-hander was even better in his last start at San Francisco, throwing a four-hitter in a 1-0 victory Sept. 14.

He has a 1.23 ERA in seven games - six starts - against the Giants, but just a 2-1 record to show for it.

Kershaw wasn't as sharp Tuesday, allowing three runs and two homers while fanning eight in six innings of a 3-0 loss at Colorado.

"It was a frustrating night," he said. "They put some good swings on it. I'm not going to discredit them. They hit some balls hard, they hit some balls far."

The Dodgers lost 7-2 at San Diego on Sunday, failing to complete a three-game sweep.

Matt Kemp went 8 for 13 with five stolen bases over the weekend, increasing his season average to .438. The center fielder went 5 for 12 with two doubles, a homer and three RBIs in the last series with the Giants.

He's singled in both of his at-bats against scheduled San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner (0-1, 9.00), San Francisco's scheduled starter.

Bumgarner won his only career start against the Dodgers, yielding two runs - one earned - in 5 2-3 innings of a 5-2 victory last July 19.

The 21-year-old left-hander struggled to get 2011 off to a positive start Tuesday, surrendering three runs and five hits with three walks before being lifted after three innings of a 3-1 loss at San Diego.

"He's going to be fine," manager Bruce Bochy told the Giants' official website. "The game didn't get out of hand. Give him credit."

Catcher Buster Posey should be back in the lineup after being rested Sunday. The reigning NL Rookie of the Year has at least one hit in seven of eight games.

Posey is 4 for 8 with a homer and two RBIs in San Francisco's last two home matchups with the Dodgers, but is 2 for 12 against Kershaw.

Reigning AL MVP Trout to undergo thumb surgery, out 6-8 weeks

Reigning AL MVP Trout to undergo thumb surgery, out 6-8 weeks

ANAHEIM -- Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout has a torn ligament in his left thumb and will have surgery Wednesday that is expected to sideline him between six to eight weeks.

The Angels put the reigning AL MVP on the disabled list Monday for the first time in his career. The outfielder hurt himself a day earlier making a headfirst slide to steal second base in Miami.

At 25, Trout already is a two-time AL MVP. He is hitting .337 and has 16 home runs, second most in the majors.

Angels general manager Billy Eppler said an MRI revealed the tear. Team doctor Steve Shin arrived in Anaheim later Monday night, met with Trout and it was determined surgery was his best option.

"It was news no player wants to hear," Eppler said. "He's been put in a tough spot and it's something he's still digesting."

The Angels lost shortstop Andrelton Simmons to a similar thumb injury last season. He had surgery and was out slightly over five weeks.

Los Angeles was 26-28 going Monday night's game at home against Atlanta, and the lineup recently missed ailing slugger Albert Pujols.

Trout made his major league debut by playing 40 games for the Angels in 2011. Since then, he's been a five-time All-Star and has finished in the top two in the AL MVP all five seasons.

A year after hitting .315 with a .441 on-base percentage, 29 home runs, 100 RBIs and 30 steals, Trout was off to a dynamic start. He was leading the league in on-base percentage (.461) and slugging percentage (.742) when he was hurt.

"It's really hard to quantify (his loss)," Eppler said. "We're going to feel that impact and it's going to require multiple people stepping up in his absence. The team will fight as it always does. But he's in the heart of the order and a leader in the dugout. Those are tough to absorb."

Dodgers infielder weighs in on Harper's errant helmet throw

Dodgers infielder weighs in on Harper's errant helmet throw

Before the right hooks and haymakers, there was the helmet toss.

A very bad helmet toss.

As he made his way to the mound after getting hit by a pitch on Monday afternoon, Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper attempted to throw his helmet at Giants reliever Hunter Strickland. He missed by a wide margin.

Observers took notice, including Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner.

"What was worse, Harper's helmet throw or 50 Cents first pitch? Heads up in the #McCoveyCove," Turner tweeted shortly after the brawl between the Giants and Nationals.

Turner is referring to a ceremonial first pitch thrown by rapper 50 Cent prior to a Mets game in 2014.

Harper mentioned the helmet when addressing the situation after the game.

"I was trying to go after him, with the helmet or with myself, just doing what I needed to do keep it going, I guess," Harper told reporters.