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Preview: Dodgers at Giants

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Andre Ethier will be unavailable again Thursday when the Los Angeles Dodgers face Tim Lincecum and the host San Francisco Giants in the rubber match of the three-game series, and he's now questionable for the first round of the postseason. The right fielder has been out since Sept. 13 with a left ankle sprain, and he continues to have pain when running the bases. “I’m a little worried about him,” said manager Don Mattingly. “He didn’t look good (Tuesday) and wasn’t running very hard.”

The Dodgers had their three-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday, but Matt Kemp continued to impress with three more hits, including a sharp double to the wall. Kemp is 9-for-44 with 18 strikeouts against Lincecum, who could be making his final start as a member of the Giants. The 29-year-old, who will be a free agent at the end of the season, has won two Cy Young awards and two World Series titles in seven seasons with San Francisco.

TV: 10:15 p.m. ET, Prime Ticket (Los Angeles), CSN Bay Area (San Francisco)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Dodgers RH Edinson Volquez (9-12, 5.77 ERA) vs. Giants RH Tim Lincecum (10-14, 4.44)

The Dodgers are unlikely to use Volquez as a starter in the postseason, but there’s a chance he could make the roster as a long reliever. The 30-year-old is winless in five games (four starts) with the Dodgers since being signed as a free agent in late August. He’s gone 2-2 with a 5.92 ERA in 10 career starts against the Giants, including 0-1 with a 6.65 ERA in four starts this season.

Lincecum recorded the 1,500th strikeout of his career against the Yankees last Friday, when he yielded four runs over 6 2/3 innings. A native of Bellevue, Wash., he’s gone 4-1 over his last six starts. Adrian Gonzalez is 10-for-50 with 16 strikeouts against Lincecum, who is 9-6 with a 2.93 ERA in 22 career games (21 starts) against the Dodgers, including 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA in three outings this season.

WALK-OFFS

1.The Dodgers trail St. Louis by 2 1/2 games and Atlanta by two games in the battle for home-field advantage in the National League.

2. The Giants have won 23 of their last 29 games when scoring at least four runs.

3. Los Angeles relievers have allowed two hits in 16 scoreless innings in their last six games.

PREDICTION: Giants 6, Dodgers 4

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