Bonds Surging

Barry Bonds has homered off 438 pitchers in his career. Derek Lowe is not one of them.

The San Francisco Giants star looks to continue his recent home-run surge when he faces the sinkerballing Lowe and the host Los Angeles Dodgers in the opener of a three-game set Tuesday.

Oddsmakers have made Los Angeles -150 point spread favorites (MLB Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 8ov total runs (View MLB Sports Books). Our public betting information shows that 71% of bets for this game have been placed on Los Angeles -150 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

Bonds has homered in each of his last two games and three of four. He's hit six homers this season, giving him 740 in his career and pulling him within 15 of tying Hank Aaron's major league record.

"He changes your club, your lineup, including the opposing pitcher seeing Barry out there," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "I can't say enough about what he's done for us the last few days."

Bonds, though, is 0-for-6 in his career against right-hander Lowe (2-2, 4.56 ERA), and he'll be facing a pitcher who hasn't allowed a homer in his last six starts and just one in 14 appearances since Aug. 14. Lowe's average of 0.58 home runs allowed per nine innings was third-lowest in the majors last season among pitchers who threw at least 162 innings.

Bonds is hitting .259 (108-for-417) with 28 homers and 78 RBIs in 129 games at Dodger Stadium.

The Giants (9-8) will be trying for their sixth straight victory, and looking to break an eight-game losing streak to the archrival Dodgers (13-6). Los Angeles has won 12 of the last 13 overall and four in a row at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles swept San Francisco in three games in the first meeting of the season April 6-8 at AT&T Park.

Making San Francisco's task even tougher is Lowe's dominance at Dodger Stadium. The right-hander is 5-0 with a 1.46 ERA in his last six home games.

Lowe is grateful to pitch any place other than Coors Field, where he allowed five runs, eight hits and three walks in 4 2-3 innings of the Dodgers' 7-2 loss Wednesday. It was the second time in Lowe's four starts this season that he pitched fewer than five innings.

"It's not really baseball," Lowe said. "This is the only place in baseball that bad games affect me none. This is really a tough place to pitch."

After losing his first three career starts against San Francisco, Lowe has given up one earned run or fewer and lasted at least seven innings in four of his last five appearances against the Giants. He won his second straight start against the Giants on April 7, allowing one run and four hits in seven innings of a 4-1 victory.

Lowe, however, struggled badly in his last Dodger Stadium start against San Francisco, surrendering seven runs, eight hits and three walks in 4 2-3 innings of an 11-7 defeat July 8. Lowe is 3-4 with a 3.57 ERA in eight starts against the Giants, but 0-2 with a 7.16 ERA in three Dodger Stadium starts against them.

The Dodgers have not lost any of their last six series, but missed a chance to sweep Pittsburgh with 7-5 defeat Sunday. They committed a season-high three errors and allowed two unearned runs.

Matt Morris (2-0, 2.00 ERA) will oppose Lowe on Tuesday. The right-hander allowed five runs - one earned - with six hits and four walks in 6 2-3 innings of the Giants' 6-5, 12-inning win over St. Louis on Wednesday. The victory started San Francisco on its current win streak.

Morris has allowed five earned runs in each of his last four starts against Los Angeles, going 0-3 in that span. He's 3-5 with a 5.40 ERA in 13 games against the Dodgers overall, and 1-1 with a 6.00 ERA in four Dodger Stadium outings.

The Giants gave up fewer than three runs for the fourth straight game Sunday, completing a three-game sweep of Arizona with a 2-1 win.

Andre Ethier is 4-for-9 (.444) against Morris, while Nomar Garciaparra is hitting .429 (9-for-21) against the San Francisco starter. Garciaparra is batting .615 (8-for-13) with runners in scoring position this season.

Rich Aurilia is 4-for-7 against Lowe, while Bengie Molina is 4-for-8. Aurilia's career-high 14-game hit streak ended Sunday.

by: Dave Michaels - thespread.com – Email Us

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