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Dodgers conclude long divisional schedule stretch with rival Giants

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

The Dodgers are in San Francisco for a second time this season, battling the Giants for three games beginning Monday night at AT&T Park.

So far this season, the Dodgers and Giants have alternated wins in every other game, with San Francisco holding a 4-3 advantage in the season series. The Giants also won the last game, so if the pattern holds the Dodgers would have their first series win at AT&T Park since Sept. 12-14, 2014.

The Giants have been mostly terrible this season, sitting at 15-24 with the second-worst run differential (-61) in the National League. But they enter Monday as winners of three straight games.

Dueling catchers

Buster Posey has been especially hot for the Giants in May, hitting .395/.480/.791 with five home runs in 50 plate appearances, with five walks and just two strikeouts. He hit just one home run in April. Four of those May home runs came in five starts last week, including a walk-off home run on Friday after catching 17 innings against the Reds.

Yasmani Grandal has been on fire in May as well, hitting .429/.459/.629 with a home run and four doubles, and two walks. His last game of April was a three-hit game, giving him four three-hit games in his last nine starts, raising his season line from .194/.303/.373 to .292/.367/.481 in just over two weeks.

Grandal carries an eight-game hitting streak into Monday’s game, and has 14 hits in his last 23 at-bats.

Welcome back

Cody Bellinger is now a grizzled veteran compared to his last trip to AT&T Park, where he played his first three major league games, from Apr. 25-27. Bellinger was 1-for-10 with two walks in those three games, with a cue-shot infield single up the third base line against the shift as his only hit.

Since then, he hasn’t had two straight games without a hit. Bellinger has reached base by hit or walk in nine straight games, and in 14 of his last 15 games.

For starters

Bellinger missed Matt Cain in that first series against the Giants. Cain pitched the series opener on Apr. 24, one day before Bellinger’s call up, and shut the Dodgers down with six scoreless innings.

Believe it or not, this is Brandon McCarthy ‘s first start against the Giants since joining the Dodgers. McCarthy did pitch once against San Francisco last season, but it was in relief in the series opener in the season’s final weekend. McCarthy faced six batters and did not record an out. They all scored.

So long, NL West

The Dodgers are 15-14 against their own division this season, with 29 of their first 38 games coming against the National League West. This series will make 32 of their first 41 games, but then the Dodgers have a stretch of 33 straight games outside of the division.

After this series against the Giants, the Dodgers won’t play a National League West team until June 23, when they host the Rockies at Dodger Stadium.

Game info

Time: 7:15 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA, MLB Network