Preview: Dodgers Face Uphill Battle In Rubber Match Against Matt Moore, Giants
Corey Seager Ends Matt Moore’s No-hitter In Ninth, But Giants Shut Out Dodgers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

After capturing the series opener in dramatic fashion, the Los Angeles Dodgers faltered against the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday. Los Angeles was unable to capitalize on opportunities against Johnny Cueto, and struggled against a pair of left-handed relievers and Sergio Romo.

The Dodgers enter Wednesday five games ahead in the National League West, with their magic number still at seven. The rubber match is a national broadcast on ESPN, who will pay tribute to Vin Scully and simulcast his call of the fourth inning.

On paper San Francisco appears to have the upper hand in the series finale simply by the fact they are sending Matt Moore to the mound. Los Angeles has struggled mightily against left-handers this season, and were nearly no-hit by Moore on Aug. 25.

He lost the bid for history on a flare single by Corey Seager with two outs in the ninth inning. Moore tossed 133 pitches in the outing, which set a career- and 2016 Major-League high.

In his previous start, the southpaw pitched to a much-needed victory against the St. Louis Cardinals. In five innings, he allowed just two runs on seven hits. The 27-year-old has suffered from command issues of late, issuing at least three walks in seven of his last nine starts.

The Giants acquired Moore at the trade deadline, which many believe was a move to counter the Dodgers and their lack of production against lefties. Aside from his one start against Los Angeles while with the Giants, Moore saw the Dodgers during his time with the Tampa Bay Rays.

He allowed seven runs on eight hits (two home runs) during a May start at Tropicana Field, but then allowed just one unearned run in 6.2 innings at Dodger Stadium in late July. In nine starts with the Giants, he’s 4-4 with a 4.01 ERA, 3.81 FIP and 1.39 WHIP.

Howie Kendrick enters Wednesday’s matchup with the most success against Moore, going a career 6-for-18 with a double and two RBIs.

The Dodgers counter with Kenta Maeda, who has been nothing short of a workhorse in his first season in the Majors. He leads the team with 164 innings pitched and 29 starts.

Maeda recently that he feels healthier at this stage of the season than he did earlier in the year. Wednesday’s outing serves as another test as the right-hander is starting on regular rest for just the fourth time this season.

Facing the Giants on April 17, Maeda allowed one run on four hits in seven innings pitched to earn the win. The lone run was courtesy of a Joe Panik home run, who bats seventh in the series finale.

When Maeda next saw the Giants, Aug. 23 and also at home, he allowed four runs on six hits in just five innings. He uncharacteristically battled command issues that evening, but still earned the win. The 28-year-old enters 14-9 with a 3.24 ERA, 3.50 FIP and 1.10 WHIP.

Maeda joins Don Sutton, Hiroki Kuroda, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Rick Sutcliffe as the only Los Angeles rookie pitchers to make at least 30 starts in a single season.

Dodgers lineup:

LF: Howie Kendrick
SS: Corey Seager
3B: Justin Turner
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
RF: Yasiel Puig
C: Carlos Ruiz
CF: Kiké Hernandez
2B: Charlie Culberson
P: Kenta Maeda

Giants lineup:

CF: Denard Span
LF: Angel Pagan
C: Buster Posey
RF: Hunter Pence
1B: Brandon Belt
3B: Eduardo Nunez
2B: Joe Panik
SS: Ehire Adrianza
P: Matt Moore