The San Francisco Giants might be in last place in the National League West, but they have been making noise of late and certainly have the attention of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The West Coast rivals will meet for the fourth time this season when a four-game series starts Monday night at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers are 24 games over .500 this season, but their advantage over the Giants is a lot less dominating than it is over the rest of the league. The teams have played nine times, with the Giants winning four of them.
On Monday, the Giants will send right-hander Tyler Beede (0-2, 8.06 ERA) to the mound while the Dodgers will counter with right-hander Kenta Maeda (7-3 3.89).
Beede pitched Tuesday against the San Diego Padres, giving up four runs on five hits over 4 2/3 innings. It was not a dominating outing, but he did strike out seven and start the Giants on the way to a 6-5 victory.
It ended up being the first of four consecutive victories for the Giants -- two against the Padres and two more against Milwaukee -- before the Brewers won the series finale at San Francisco on Sunday.
The Giants entered those series off two defeats in three games at home to the Dodgers, but competitive contests against the division leaders gave them some momentum.
"I think you look at it, it is a pretty good homestand," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We would have loved to finish it off (Sunday), and we could have. We had our chances. We took two series against two good teams. We bounced back off a tough series (against the Dodgers). So, better at home. It's what we've been looking for."
The Giants are now 15-21 at home with a 15-18 record on the road. The last time they played away from the Bay Area, they went 4-5 on a trip to Miami, Baltimore and New York against the Mets.
While Beede will be facing the Dodgers for the first time, Maeda is 4-3 lifetime against the Giants in 12 appearances (eight starts) with a 4.04 ERA.
The Dodgers will enter the matchup against the Giants off another four-game series. Los Angeles just went 3-1 at home against the Chicago Cubs, winning the finale Sunday with the help of a Cody Bellinger home run and a white-knuckle save from Kenley Jansen, his 21st. Bellinger's 23 home runs are tied for second in the majors.
Maeda last faced the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday, when he struggled early. He gave up five runs on three hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings, but still retired the last seven batters he faced.
The last time he faced the Giants on April 29, he was coming off a poor outing when he gave up six runs to the Cubs. He turned around and held San Francisco scoreless over five innings.
At times, Maeda has credited improved slider mechanics for his success while the Dodgers continue to ask him to trust his fastball. His changeup, though, has been of some help, too.
"I started throwing my changeup around midway during the season last year, so I couldn't fully control the movement and which side of the plate I wanted it to go to," Maeda said through an interpreter, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. "This year I have more control over it, more conviction."
--Field Level Media
Giants carrying momentum into series with rival Dodgers