The reigning National League Cy Young Award winner gets the best of both worlds when the Dodgers and Giants square off in the second of three at Chavez Ravine on Tuesday night.
Opposed by Giants righty Ryan Vogelsong, Kershaw is looking to extend his home unbeaten streak of 12 straight decisions, which already spans more than a year. His last loss there came April 16, 2011, against the Cardinals.
"It is a good place to pitch, probably the best. I don't take that for granted," Kershaw said after his last home start.
Kershaw is 6-1 with a 1.25 ERA in 11 career starts against the Giants. Last season alone, he went 5-0 with a 1.07 ERA.
But he's coming off a shaky outing against the Rockies in Colorado in which he surrendered three home runs for the first time in his career. He allowed five runs, something Vogelsong has yet to do this season.
But Vogelsong has run into a bit of tough luck so far. He has pitched at least six innings in all four of his starts, three of them quality, but he only has a pair of losses to show for it.
Vogelsong has made four appearances -- only one a start -- at Dodger Stadium, where he sports a 6.52 ERA.
He'll have to deal with early MVP candidate Matt Kemp, who has been as good at the plate against the Giants as Kershaw has been on the mound. Last season he batted .469 with 12 runs, four homers and nine RBIs in nine games against the Giants at Dodger Stadium. He went 3-for-3 in Monday's 9-1 Dodgers victory.
Giants: Mota suspended
Giants reliever Guillermo Mota tested positive for clenbuterol, a performance-enhancing substance, and was suspended for 100 games. He was in violation of MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. According to various reports, Mota plans on appealing the suspension.
In a statement, the Giants announced: "The Giants are disappointed to learn of Guillermo Mota's suspension. We support Major League Baseball's Drug Prevention and Treatment Program."
For now, the club will carry 11 pitchers.
Aubrey Huff was activated from the 15-day disabled list Monday. Huff, who was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, said visits to a mental therapist helped him regain a sense of well-being.
An 0-for-5 night Monday snapped Angel Pagan's 20-game hitting streak. During that stretch, he hit .315 with four homers.
Dodgers: Jansen replaces Guerra as closer
Manager Don Mattingly announced Monday that Javy Guerra is no longer the Dodgers' closer following his third blown save of the season Sunday in Chicago. Guerra is 1-3 with a 5.84 ERA so far this season, converting saves in eight of his 11 opportunities.
"I had a conversation with Javy today and I think he realized it was coming. He was very understanding," Mattingly said. "I said all along that I didn't want to do this and it is one of those things where I don't want to be hardheaded either. It is the games making the decision for me."
Righty Kenley Jansen, who is 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA, takes over for Guerra. He didn't get the chance for a save Monday, as the Dodgers added five insurance runs in the eighth.
Tuesday marks the second game at Dodger Stadium since the Guggenheim Baseball Management group took control of the team from Frank McCourt.
The newest Dodger, outfielder Bobby Abreu, wore No. 23 Monday instead of the No. 33 that he wore in his first three games with the club. He'll continue to wear No. 23 going forward.
Both Buster Posey and Melky Cabrera are hitting above .400 against lefties this season. When facing the southpaw Kershaw, however, Posey has just two singles in 18 at-bats and Cabrera is hitless in two.
The Dodgers' 11-2 mark at home is the best in baseball.