The San Francisco Giants couldn't produce any offense to support Tim Lincecum's opening day start against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
It could be a similar situation for the San Francisco ace Tuesday night against the Dodgers when he's opposed by Chad Billingsley.
Runs figure to be at a premium as the defending World Series champions continue their three-game series against visiting Los Angeles, which has won four of the first five meetings.
The Dodgers won 6-1 on Monday behind 6 2-3 scoreless innings from Clayton Kershaw and Andre Ethier's two RBIs. Los Angeles (6-4) had 11 hits to reach double figures for the fourth time in five games.
San Francisco, meanwhile, was held to one run for the fourth time this year while Pat Burrell recorded the team's ninth error. Only Houston has a lower fielding percentage in the NL.
"We know we need to tighten up this defense," manager Bruce Bochy said. ``We've let it get away from us and it's hurt us."
The Giants (4-6) hope to start turning things around when they send Lincecum (1-1, 0.64 ERA) to the mound. He gave up one unearned run and five hits in seven innings of a 2-1 loss to the Dodgers on March 31.
Lincecum has never lost at home to Los Angeles, going 3-0 with a 2.43 ERA.
The right-hander is coming off a dominant start at San Diego on Wednesday. He struck out 13 in seven innings of an 8-4 win, giving up one run and three hits.
"He's a special talent, this kid, and he showed it again today," Bochy said of the two-time Cy Young Award winner.
Matt Kemp, who went 1 for 2 with an RBI and two walks Monday to raise his average to .441, is just 3 for 21 with nine strikeouts lifetime against Lincecum.
Lincecum may need to be just as good again when he matches up with Billingsley (1-1, 8.00), who, despite his lofty ERA, pitched well against the Giants on April 1. He gave up three runs in six innings of a 4-3 victory to improve to 3-1 with a 1.27 ERA in his last six starts against San Francisco.
Billingsley, 7-3 with a 2.73 ERA in his career against the Giants, is looking to bounce back after a poor outing Wednesday. The right-hander gave up five runs and six hits in three innings of a 7-5 loss to Colorado.
"He seemed to kind of struggle with his stuff today, throwing the ball where he wanted to," manager Don Mattingly told the Dodgers' official website. "That was kind of frustrating."
Mattingly's team will continue this series without shortstop Rafael Furcal, who is headed for the disabled list after breaking his left thumb sliding into third for a fifth-inning stolen base. He is hitting .192 with two RBIs in seven games this season.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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