SAN FRANCISCO - This is a fine welcome home. The Giants are back at AT&T Park to kick off a 10-game homestand, they're fresh off a sweep of the Diamondbacks in Arizona, they welcome Jeremy Affeldt back to the bullpen today -- and, oh yeah, they're facing Clayton Kershaw.
Kershaw, as is well-documented, has the lowest ERA of any pitcher who has thrown at least 50 innings against the Giants (1.28), and has a 0.66 ERA in eight career games at AT&T Park (that's four earned runs allowed in 54 2/3 innings).
No doubt this will be an emotional start for Kershaw. The left-hander rejoined the Dodgers yesterday from the bereavement list, reportedly due to the death of his father.
Here's the Giants' lineup that will face Kershaw:
Zito is riding a 21-inning scoreless streak at AT&T Park, seven innings in each of his three starts at home this season. The last Giants pitcher with a longer streak at home to start a season was Ryan Jensen in 2002 (27 innings, according to Elias).
The Dodgers' lineup against Zito goes like this:
The Giants announced several roster moves this afternoon. They reinstated Affeldt off the disabled list; Sandy Rosario was optioned to Triple-A Fresno followed Wednesday night's game to clear room for Affeldt.
The Giants also recalled outfielder Francisco Peguero from Triple-A Fresno and optioned catcher Hector Sanchez. Sanchez, who missed much of spring training due to injury, had appeared in 11 games in the first month and had just 23 plate appearances; he was 3-for-20 with an RBI, three walks and seven strikeouts.
Peguero was hitting well at Triple-A (.415, 27-for-65). The Giants also announced that Tony Abreu will begin a rehab assignment in Fresno tonight.
Brandon Belt gets a start tonight vs. Kershaw, while Brandon Crawford gets his first night off this season. Belt is 3-for-24 against Kershaw lifetime, but at least -- unlike when he faced Kershaw on opening day -- he's not suffering a stomach virus that sapped him of 10 pounds. Belt kept a sense of humor about that game: Told later he'd looked pretty sick in the Giants' opener at Dodger Stadium he replied, "That was Kershaw."