Kenta Maeda remains a novelty. Thus, he'll likely be a central figure when the Giants and Dodgers conclude their three-game series Sunday at 5:05 p.m. PT.
Maeda, the right-hander who spent his previous eight professional seasons in Japan, began his Dodgers career by pitching six shutout innings in each of his first two Major League starts. With Maeda signed to an eight-year contract, the Giants will try to get as good a look at him as possible, since they'll continue to face him during the foreseeable future.
The Giants will be glad to get this game out of the way. They'll begin a 10-game homestand, matching their longest of the year, on Monday against Arizona. Miami and San Diego also will visit AT&T Park during this stretch.
Things to know about this game
• This will be the third consecutive road start to open the season for Giants right-hander Jeff Samardzija. He also pitched at Milwaukee and Colorado. Samardzija owns a 1-2 record and a 4.91 ERA in four career appearances, including two starts, against the Dodgers.
• These teams will clash in San Francisco in a three-game series June 10-12, but they won't play at Dodger Stadium again until Aug. 23-25.
• Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen has recorded saves in four of the team's seven victories. Jansen has successfully converted his last 16 save opportunities dating to Aug. 26 and is 15 saves shy of Eric Gagné's franchise record.