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SF@LAD: Greinke fans five, holds Giants to one run

Zack Greinke hasn't faced the Giants much, but he left a definite impression the last time he did.

Greinke, who's scheduled to start for the Dodgers in Sunday's series finale against their archrivals, received a no-decision in a six-inning effort against the Giants last Sept. 12. Only one man reached scoring position for the Giants, who mustered four hits and tallied their lone run on Hunter Pence's second-inning homer.

Manager Bruce Bochy can be expected to tweak the lineup slightly, not just in an attempt to solve Greinke's riddles, but also to keep the Giants fresh for the long haul.

Brandon Hicks, who has started the previous two games at second base, could be bound for the bench and replaced by Joaquin Arias, who's 2-for-5 lifetime against Greinke. That's not much of a sample size, but it could be enough to influence Bochy into starting Arias.

Bochy might consider starting Gregor Blanco in left field -- not just to challenge Greinke with another left-handed batter, but also to rest Michael Morse, whose right calf requires considerable care.

After catching games that lasted three hours, 25 minutes (Friday) and 3:42 (Saturday), Buster Posey might be another Giant to get a break.

Though the Giants aren't always the best at running deep counts, they should consider trying to make Greinke work extra. That would apply pressure to the Dodgers relievers that they might not be able to handle.

Los Angeles needs Greinke to consume innings, because its bullpen is exhausted after starters Hyun-Jin Ryu and Paul Maholm worked a total of 6 1/3 innings in the series' first two games. Saturday, closer Kenley Jansen made 22 pitches and couldn't finish off the ninth inning. Jose Dominguez and Jamey Wright have pitched in back-to-back games.

Giants: Pence starts a surge, maybe
Pence entered Saturday in a 1-for-20 (.050) skid before doubling twice in a 2-for-5 afternoon. Since the start of the 2013 season, Pence has hit .348 (17-for-48) with two doubles, six homers and 13 RBIs in 12 games at Dodger Stadium.

Pence didn't crow over his success, however.

"Maholm has days where he's gotten me, too," Pence said. "It's always tough. Every pitcher's tough. ... For me it's about playing the game to win that day. There are going to be stretches where you're hot and cold. I made some adjustments today and felt a little better."

Dodgers: Dealing with outfield glut
Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly has to deal with at least one disgruntled player's ego daily, now that he has four healthy, starting-quality outfielders and only three spots in which to fit them.

Saturday, the task grew more difficult. Mattingly inserted presumptive No. 5 outfielder Scott Van Slyke, a right-handed batter, in the lineup against Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner. Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford, both left-handed hitters, were benched.

"I keep communicating all the time," Mattingly said. "Today, I talked to both [Ethier and Crawford]. I don't think it has to be an everyday thing. And I'm not going to categorize their reaction every day."

Worth noting
• The homers hit by Pablo Sandoval and Posey in Saturday's fifth inning was the first pair of back-to-back home runs hit by the Giants since Aug. 27, when Pence and Sandoval went deep in the first inning.

• Center fielder Angel Pagan has hit safely in each of the Giants' first six games, resulting in a .407 batting average (11-for-27) and at least one RBI in five games.

• Dodgers third baseman Juan Uribe lashed a second-inning RBI double to extend his hitting streak to six games. He's hitting .400 (10-for-25) with four doubles during this surge.

• The Dodgers have lost two straight games for the first time this season and have dropped their first two home games for the first time since 2002, when the Giants recorded a season-opening three-game sweep. Comments