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Dodgers-Giants: Former LA pitcher Wood returns to Dodger Stadium in new uniform

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — The Dodgers face the San Francisco Giants Monday night in Game 3 of the National League Division Series.

The five-game series is now tied at 1-1, with the winner heading to the National League Championship Series.

While the two California teams have one of the oldest and fiercest rivalries in baseball, they have not met in the postseason before.

Former Dodger Alex Wood returns Monday to Dodger Stadium – this time to start at pitcher for the Giants.

Max Scherzer will start for Los Angeles.

Albert Pujols, who didn’t play in the first two games, will start at first base for the Dodgers.

The game is scheduled to start at 6:37 p.m. at Dodger Stadium.

For fans, a new Los Angeles County health order is in effect, requiring the wearing of masks and proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test.

Wood was a key member of the Dodgers’ bullpen in their run to the World Series championship last year after rejoining the team on a one-year deal.

“I don’t think we win the World Series last year without him,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Sunday.

Wood became a free agent after the season and was eager to become a starter again. In January, he signed with the rival Giants.

Wood was 10-4 with a 3.83 ERA in 26 regular-season starts. In three outings against his former team, the left-hander had a pair of 1-0 losses and a no-decision. He pitched six innings in each of the first two outings, allowing two runs and four runs. In his third outing, he was tagged for three runs.

With so much familiarity between the Dodgers and Wood, Roberts said any edge comes down to the day.

“That’s what’s going to be fun, to see how it goes,” the manager said. “Is he going to go fastball to get ahead or is he going to throw a curve ball to steal a strike? In an even count is he going fastball to trick us or is he going to go with his strength, the changeup? Ultimately, it just comes down to execution.”

Scherzer will be on full rest for his 24th career postseason start after pitching in last week’s NL wild-card game against St. Louis. The three-time Cy Young Award winner wasn’t particularly sharp, but held the Cardinals to one run over 4 1/3 innings.

Scherzer hasn’t faced the Giants as much as his teammates, but he understands the deep-seated dislike between the teams’ fans.

“This is playoff baseball,” Scherzer said. “Both fan bases are absolutely diehard, ready to win. They want to see us obviously win. Our Dodger fan base wants us to beat the Giants. It’s personal to them. It’s personal to us. We want to win.”

Wood will be making his 21st postseason start. He has a 3.55 career playoff ERA.

The Giants need to win one of the next two games in LA to force the series back to San Francisco for a fifth and deciding game. They won 4-0 in Game 1 and the Dodgers’ bats came alive in Game 2 to produce a 9-2 victory.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2021 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.

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