Dodgers Vs. Giants Game Preview: Cody Bellinger Back In Center Field
Cody Bellinger
Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers earned a rare blowout win over the San Francisco Giants and now can take the series with a victory in the rubber match. L.A. enters play two games back of San Francisco for first place in the National League West.

The afternoon affair is the final head-to-head matchup between the storied rivals until they meet for a three-game series at Oracle Park from Sept. 3-5. The Dodgers are 8-7 against the Giants so far this season, but have lost seven of their past 11 meetings.

After back-to-back starts at first base to ease into overcoming left hamstring tightness, Cody Bellinger is in center field for the series finale. Bellinger has maintained his swing feels good and that optimism was supported by a home run in the eighth inning on Wednesday night.

With Bellinger back in center field, Albert Pujols starts at first base despite the Giants having a right-hander on the mound in Johnny Cueto. Pujols is batting just .174/.220/.278 in 123 plate appearances against same-side pitching this season.

Cueto faces the Dodgers for the first time this season. Overall he’s 6-5 with a 4.09 ERA and 1.26 WHIP across 16 starts. The 35-year-old has surrendered at least one home run in each of his past four outings.

The Dodgers counter with David Price in what could be his final start, depending on how the trade deadline shakes out. Price began the season in the bullpen but has been needed in the rotation because of injuries to Dustin May and Clayton Kershaw, and Trevor Bauer remaining on administrative leave.

Price is 4-0 with a 3.55 ERA in 15 games (four starts) this season and is coming off his longest outing at 5.2 innings pitched. Price threw a scoreless inning out of the bullpen against the Giants on May 23, then struck out five over 2.2 shutout innings as an opener four days later.

Dodgers lineup

SS: Chris Taylor
2B: Max Muncy
3B: Justin Turner
CF: Cody Bellinger
LF: AJ Pollock
1B: Albert Pujols
RF: Billy McKinney
C: Austin Barnes
P: David Price

Giants lineup

CF: Austin Slater
3B: Wilmer Flores
RF: Mike Yastrzemski
1B: Darin Ruf
2B: Donovan Solano
SS: Brandon Crawford
LF: Thairo Estrada
C: Curt Casali
P: Johnny Cueto

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