SAN FRANCISCO -- Two teams involved in one of the most unusual season-opening series in Major League Baseball history head 400 miles north for a rematch when the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants begin a three-game set Friday night.
Dodgers right-hander Kenta Maeda (1-0) and Giants left-hander Derek Holland (0-1), who went head-to-head in the third of the four games in Los Angeles, square off again when the rivals meet for what will be the fifth of 10 times before May 1.
All four games in Los Angeles ended in shutouts, including the 5-0 Dodgers win last Saturday in which Maeda outpitched Holland.
Maeda blanked the Giants for five innings on five hits, getting strikeouts on 10 of his 15 outs.
He is 4-1 with a 4.55 ERA in six starts against the Giants, but all of his success has come at home. He has gone 0-1 with a 14.29 ERA in two previous starts in San Francisco.
The defending National League champions were shut out for a third time when they lost 3-0 to complete a three-game sweep in Arizona.
The first two shutouts were historic, being that the Dodgers became the first team since the 1943 St. Louis Cardinals to lose consecutive 1-0 games to open a season.
The Dodgers seemed to have rebounded well with 5-0 and 9-0 wins to complete the all-shutout opening series. But after an 8-7, 15-inning loss Monday to the Arizona Diamondbacks, they slumped again, totaling one run in the next two days.
Things are so messed up that Dodgers manager Dave Roberts left Arizona on Wednesday concerned about a pitching staff that has held the opposition to three runs or fewer in five of the team's first seven games.
That's because his club had no game three times in a span of eight days, a stretch that began Thursday. Roberts disclosed that he plans to rearrange his starting rotation so that ace Clayton Kershaw can pitch on his usual four days' rest Sunday, but the possibility of rain Friday and Saturday, coupled with the scheduled off days, could lead to several starters getting pushed back significantly.
"I appreciate the way that there are off days," he said. "But where they are for us right now, it's not ideal. I guess it beats (playing) 21 days in a row."
The Giants would have liked nothing better than to play Thursday after their bats caught fire in a 10-1 romp past Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday.