San Francisco Giants (84-71) at Los Angeles Dodgers (89-67), 10:10 p.m. (ET)
(SportsNetwork.com) - A disappointing series over the weekend by the San Francisco Giants has made catching the Los Angeles Dodgers atop the National League West quite a long shot.
Now looking to hold on to a wild card spot, the Giants try to get their offense on track Monday night in the first of three meetings with the hosting Dodgers.
San Francisco was swept in three games by the San Diego Padres, shut out once in the set and limited to a total of four runs. The Giants have lost six of their past eight, hitting .201 and plating just 14 runs over that span.
"We got to get this offense going and execute. Stay away from the mistakes," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy.
In getting swept, the Giants are 4 1/2 games back of the Dodgers for first place in the division, so anything less than a sweep of this set should lead to Los Angeles clinching the NL West crown. The Dodgers' magic number to do so is three.
San Francisco, meanwhile, fell into a tie with the Pittsburgh Pirates for the two wild card spots in the NL. Both clubs are 4 1/2 games up on Milwaukee.
Offense hasn't been a problem for the Dodgers, who scored 37 runs over a four- game set with the Chicago Cubs -- winning three of four -- and have averaged 8.3 runs per game over their last nine. That span began after a 9-0 loss to San Francisco with a 17-0 rout of the Giants on Sept. 13.
"We just got to take care of business," said Los Angeles outfielder Matt Kemp, who homered and drove in four runs in Sunday's 8-5 win over the Cubs.
Los Angeles opted to push Dan Haren back to tonight and go with a bullpen game on Sunday, using six different relievers in the victory.
Haren gets an extra day of rest and is 13-11 this year with a 4.14 earned run average. He'll actually be facing the Giants for the first time in 2014 and is 6-6 with a 3.05 ERA against them lifetime.
The 34-year-old righty went 3-0 with a 0.69 ERA in four starts between Aug. 22-Sept. 10 before struggling in a loss to Colorado on Tuesday. Haren was charged with five runs on four hits and a walk in five innings of work.
"I thought he hung in there," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of Haren.
The Giants, meanwhile, try to get off to a good start in this series behind Jake Peavy, who is 6-4 with a 2.16 ERA in 10 starts since being acquired from Boston.
Since giving up 10 earned runs in losing his first three starts with the Giants, Peavy is 6-1 with a 1.13 ERA. The right-hander won his fourth straight start on Tuesday in Arizona, giving up one run over 7 2/3 innings to match his longest outing in a San Francisco uniform.
"I feel very blessed to feel healthy and go out there and be a contributing factor to a team that's fighting for our (playoff) lives every day," Peavy said.
The 33-year-old made his Giants debut on July 27 at home versus the Dodgers and lost, giving up four runs -- three earned -- over six innings. However, he is still 14-3 with a 2.28 ERA in 26 all-time encounters.
The Dodgers have won five of their past six versus the Giants to even the season series at 8-8.