While the front office is busy doing its job to catch the Giants, Kershaw will get a chance to do the same on the mound Sunday afternoon as the NL West foes square off in the series finale at AT&T Park. The Dodgers won the first two games to pull within one in the division and they can tie the Giants atop the NL West with a sweep.
Kershaw has been at his best against the Giants in his career, compiling a 6-3 record and 1.45 ERA while recording 102 strikeouts in 93 innings pitched.
Two of those losses came this season as Kershaw has been the recipient of poor run support. He lost on May 8 despite allowing only two runs in eight innings, and he lost again on June 26 when he gave up two runs in six innings.
"Obviously when you're not swinging the bats, it's tough to win games," Kershaw said after his most recent start against the Giants. "At the same time, I've got to keep the zeros coming."
Those two runs he gave up ended a streak of 35 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run at AT&T Park. In both games against the Giants this season, Kershaw has been bested by San Francisco's Ryan Vogelsong, who gets the start Sunday.
Vogelsong said he pitches with a "chip on his shoulder" against top starters like Kershaw and it has worked well for him this season. He threw seven shutout innings in his last start against the Dodgers on June 26.
"It's a step in the right direction," he said after that win. "I told you multiple times this year that I feel like I have something to prove every game. Just because I came out on the right side in two games with [Kershaw], that doesn't change."
Giants: Vogelsong dominant at home in 2012
When Vogelsong is on the mound at AT&T Park, it usually means one thing -- a San Francisco win.
He leads the league with a 1.41 ERA at home and the Giants haven't lost a Vogelsong start at home since May 3. The Giants lost his first two starts at home this season, but they have won eight in a row since.
Vogelsong, who is 8-4 with a 2.26 ERA overall, has lasted at least seven innings in each of those eight starts.
If self-motivation means anything, there is a good chance Vogelsong puts up similar home numbers Sunday against the Dodgers, a team he admits he does not like.
"No one tells you you have to not like the Dodgers or anything like that," he said after his last start against Los Angeles. "It just rubs off on you. When you're standing on the mound or in the dugout or anywhere in the stadium and you hear the fans chant 'Beat L.A.', and you go to L.A. and hear their fans cheering for them, it just kind of rubs off on you."
Dodgers: Lily to pitch rehab assignment
After more than two months on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation, starter Ted Lilly will make his return to the mound Sunday with Class A Rancho Cucamonga.
He is expected to pitch two innings in his first Minor League start, and it will likely take two to three weeks for him to return to the Dodgers' rotation.
Lily was 5-0 with a 1.79 ERA until he tried to pitch through pain in a May 23 game against Arizona. He allowed eight runs in 3 1/3 innings and he has been out ever since.
"We'll build him up like it's Spring Training," manager Don Mattingly said. "He'll go two innings, depending on his number of pitches, then a bullpen to get him on a rotation and build up to the 90 [pitch] mark."
Buster Posey is hitting .111 in 18 at-bats against Kershaw
Kershaw is 1-1 with a 4.58 ERA in his last three starts. He gave up eight runs in 5 2/3 innings in his last start while giving up a lead for the eighth time this season.