GIANTS (84-71) vs.
L.A. DODGERS (77-77)Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area
(AP) -- The San Francisco Giants haven't thrown in the towel on a making a return trip to the postseason. The defending World Series champions have the right pitcher scheduled to try and stay in the mix for at least one more day.Looking to win a career-best sixth consecutive start, Madison Bumgarner will take the mound for the Giants on Thursday night when they meet the Los Angeles Dodgers for the final time this season.After a one-run loss in Tuesday's series opener, San Francisco (84-71) got three hits and three RBIs from Justin Christian in Wednesday's 8-5 win.However, Arizona also won, reducing its magic number to win the NL West to two. With the Diamondbacks idle Thursday, the Giants would be eliminated from the division race if they lose to Arizona on Friday night at Chase Field.San Francisco is third in the wild-card race, two games behind St. Louis and 3 12 in back of Atlanta."We're in the mode right now where we got to win every game," Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong said. "The mood is try and win every night and see what happens."Bumgarner (12-12, 3.21 ERA) has put the Giants in a real good mood recently.He's surrendered just four earned runs over 34 2-3 innings during his five-start winning streak, which included a victory over the Dodgers on Sept. 11 in San Francisco. The left-hander gave up an unearned run over seven innings in Friday's 9-1 rout of Colorado."This kid is just getting better and better," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's been on a good roll ... He's got to feel good about how it's gone for him, especially with the rough start that he had."Bumgarner was 0-6 in his first eight starts before beating the Dodgers on May 19 in Los Angeles.While Los Angeles (77-77) dropped to 8-9 against San Francisco with Wednesday's loss, Matt Kemp recorded his fifth straight multihit game with a homer and three RBIs.With 35 homers, Kemp is tied with Atlanta's Dan Uggla for second in the NL, one behind St. Louis' Albert Pujols. Kemp is third in the NL with a .322 average, leads the league in RBIs (116) and runs (106), and has a slight chance to reach 200 hits for the first time.Kemp, who needs 16 hits over the final eight games, is hitting .322 (19 for 59) with three homers and nine RBIs in 17 games against the Giants.He's 3 for 11 with three strikeouts when facing Bumgarner.After setting a career high for wins his last time out, Hiroki Kuroda (12-16, 3.19) will try once more to avoid becoming the first Dodger to lose 17 games since Fernando Valenzuela in 1984.Kuroda gave up an earned run and five hits in six innings of Friday's 7-2 win over Pittsburgh.He had allowed eight runs over 10 2-3 innings in losses at Washington and San Francisco earlier this month.After defeating the Giants at Chavez Ravine in his 2011 debut, Kuroda improved to 1-2 with a 6.35 ERA in four career home starts against San Francisco.Pablo Sandoval is 6 for 14 with three doubles, a homer and three RBIs lifetime against Kuroda. The third baseman is hitting .378 (17 for 45) with three homers and seven RBIs in 15 games versus the Dodgers in 2011.
GIANTS (84-71) vs.