The Giants' offense is struggling, but things could turn around Friday when San Francisco gets its fourth look at Dodgers rookie starter Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Ryu, signed in the offseason from Korea, is relatively unknown to the majority of Major League clubs. But the Giants have seen the left-hander three times and beaten him twice. Ryu has allowed 26 hits in 19 innings against San Francisco.
The Giants are 2-11 over their past 13 games and have fallen to the bottom of the National League West at 39-45. They were rained out Thursday in Cincinnati and will return to AT&T Park to begin a six-game homestand. San Francisco was 1-8 during a nine-game road trip that began with a three-game sweep at the hands of the Dodgers.
The Dodgers, meanwhile, are playing their best baseball of the season and are 10-2 over their last 12 games.
The Giants swept the Dodgers in San Francisco from May 3-5, but Los Angeles is a different team two months later thanks to improved health and breakout rookie Yasiel Puig, who was back in the lineup Thursday after a collision with the right-field wall at Coors Field on Wednesday night. The Dodgers activated left fielder Carl Crawford from the disabled list prior to Friday's game, but he's not in the starting lineup.
"We not only have our weapons, but you're starting to see the confidence that we can score some runs," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.
Through his first 29 games, Puig is hitting .430 with seven doubles, eight home runs, 19 RBIs and 23 runs scored. Puig was 6-for-12 against the Giants during the Dodgers' sweep at home, but has not faced Friday's starter Matt Cain.
Cain is coming off his best outing of the season, tossing eight innings of one-run ball against the Rockies on the road. The right-hander retired the final 20 batters he faced and struck out five against one walk in a no-decision that the Giants lost, 2-1.
Cain beat the Dodgers in San Francisco on May 5, charged with one run on five hits in 7 1/3 innings. He also pitched six scoreless innings on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium.
Dodgers: Marmol to work on mechanics
Newly acquired reliever Carlos Marmol cleared outright waivers, accepted a Minor League assignment and already threw a bullpen session Thursday at the team's Camelback Ranch-Glendale complex to work out some mechanical flaws.
The Dodgers hope Marmol can return to his All-Star form with a few mechanical tweaks and a change of scenery after being removed as the closer in Chicago.
Marmol was acquired in exchange for reliever Matt Guerrier, who was designated for assignment by the Dodgers on Sunday. The Dodgers also acquired an additional $209,700 in international signing space from the Cubs.
Marmol, 30, was 2-4 with a 5.86 ERA in 31 games with Chicago this year. He struck out 32 in 27 2/3 innings, but walked 21.
Giants: Options lacking in Minors
The Giants are struggling to score runs, but management does not believe Triple-A outfielders Gary Brown and Roger Kieschnick are ready to contribute on the Major League level.
Manager Bruce Bochy said he and general manager Brian Sabean discussed the possibility of promoting either Brown or Keischnick. But both players remain in Fresno.
"If somebody's ready who can help us, you make the call," the manager said Thursday. "If we don't think they're ready, you don't want to bring them up."
Brown, the club's No. 1 pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, has struggled against right-handed pitching. Kieschnick has also struggled at the plate this year.
• Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier is 28-for-63 (.444) in his career against Cain, with three doubles, one triple, one home run and five RBIs.
• The Giants are 24-15 at AT&T Park, the best home record in the National League West.
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.