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Dodgers oppose Giants without losing streak in tow

SAN FRANCISCO -- After ending their 11-game losing streak, the Los Angeles Dodgers will turn their attention to fixing right-hander Yu Darvish when they conclude a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night.

Staff ace Clayton Kershaw pitched six effective innings Tuesday as the Dodgers snapped the longest losing streak in their West Coast history with a 5-3 triumph over the Giants.

The win allowed the Dodgers (93-52) to increase their lead in the National League West to 10 games over the Arizona Diamondbacks (83-62), who fell at home to the Colorado Rockies.

Los Angeles' magic number for clinching the division title is eight.

The Dodgers will attempt to get even closer to the West crown and win a series for the first time since Aug. 21-24 against the Pittsburgh Pirates when Darvish (8-12, 4.25 ERA overall) takes the mound Wednesday.

The 31-year-old has struggled since joining the Dodgers in August, accumulating a 5.34 ERA and 1.55 WHIP while going 2-3. He has lost each of his past three starts, getting roughed up to the tune of 13 runs and 19 hits in 12 1/3 innings.

The former Texas Rangers standout has never faced the Giants in his career.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, relieved to have the losing streak in his rearview mirror, believes the Tuesday win could have a carryover effect.

"There's a lot of relief in that clubhouse," he said after the victory. "There was so much effort put into the last couple of nights. Hopefully, the momentum will carry over to the next starting pitcher."

The Dodgers have supported their pitchers with 11 runs in the first two games of the series, and they will look to add to the total against a pitcher they have enjoyed seeing in the past.

Giants left-hander Matt Moore (5-13, 5.31 ERA) has run up a 5.36 ERA in eight career starts against the Dodgers, going 3-3 in the process.

He did, however, post his 50th career win in his most recent outing, a 9-2 road victory over the Chicago White Sox on Friday.

The Giants, long ago eliminated from the NL West chase, left the ballpark deflated Tuesday after the hard-fought loss, one in which defensive mistakes and a lack of clutch hitting late in the game proved costly.

Two routine defensive plays didn't result in any outs in the Dodgers' decisive four-run fourth inning against San Francisco right-hander Johnny Cueto, who noted afterward that he didn't pitch well enough to criticize anyone else's performance.

"It's baseball, right?" he said after lasting only 3 2/3 innings while allowing four runs on six hits and four walks. "I mean, if my teammates make errors, it's my job to make sure that they don't score the runs. I know for a fact that my teammates out there weren't trying to make errors. It's just part of the game."

The Giants came close to overcoming the defensive gaffes of left fielder Austin Slater and shortstop Kelby Tomlinson when Buster Posey came to the plate with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth inning and the Dodgers leading 5-3.

However, Los Angeles closer Kenley Jansen struck out Posey on a full count, then whiffed Nick Hundley on three straight pitches to save the win and end the Dodgers' slide.

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