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Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers try for sweep of Giants

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers have a chance to sweep the Giants on Wednesday night, and have ace Clayton Kershaw on the mound a little hungrier than usual.

Kershaw in his career has owned the Giants, with a 1.63 ERA in 29 games, including 28 starts, with 215 strikeouts and 37 walks in 209⅓ innings. Among pitchers with at least 140 innings against the Giants, Kershaw has by far the best ERA, with the next best Don Wilson (2.20) and Jack Coombs (2.22).

Giants are batting .189/.231/.261 against Kershaw in his career, with the .189 batting average against the lowest in big league history.

But so far this season, the Dodgers have lost all three of Kershaw's starts against the Giants, thanks largely in part to the three total runs scored by the Dodgers offense in those games. But facing Madison Bumgarner all three times will do that.

Kershaw this season has a 3.54 ERA against San Francisco, which is only alarming because Kershaw is Kershaw, and his eight runs allowed this season is the most he has ever allowed to the Giants in a season. Starting in 2010, Kershaw has given up to the Giants seven, six, seven, seven, six and now eight runs.

Entering play on Wednesday night, Kershaw leads the National League with 236 strikeouts, three behind Chris Sale for the major league lead. Kershaw's career high in strikeouts is 248, set in 2011.

There have only been 12 pitching seasons in Dodgers history with 240 or more strikeouts, by Sandy Koufax (1961, 1963, 1965-66), Don Drysdale (1959-60, 1963), Fernando Valenzuela (1984, 1986), Dazzy Vance (1924), Bill Singer (1969) and Kershaw.

Kershaw's career high in strikeouts against the Giants is 13, set in his very first start against them, on Jackie Robinson Night in 2009.

Kershaw has lasted at least seven innings in 10 straight home starts against the Giants, dating back to September 20, 2011. He has lasted seven or more innings in 11 of his last 12 starts this season, including eight innings or longer in seven of his last nine outings.

Game info

Time: 7:10 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA