The Los Angeles Dodger are coming off a much-needed win last night as the team welcomed Clayton Kershaw back to the mound. After six weeks out of a Dodgers uniform, the ace dominated the Washington Nationals with nine strikeouts in seven shutout innings. The Dodgers are 5-3 on their cross-country road trip so far and hope to add to the wins column today in their final away game before returning home.

Dan Haren, who makes his seventh start of the season today, has a tough act to follow after Kershaw’s impressive outing yesterday. As a starter towards the back end of the rotation, the right-hander has proven himself as valuable, especially as the team deals with injured starters. Haren is currently 4-0 with a 2.39 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP and has comparable numbers to Zack Greinke, who is 5-1 with a 2.35 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. Although the 33-year-old is coming off one of his less impressive starts, he is already better off in six starts this season than he was with the Nationals last year as he faces his former team today.

Haren will face off against Washington’s Stephen Strasburg. The 25-year-old right-hander is 2-2 on the season, holds a 3.60 ERA and will face the Dodgers today for the fourth time in his career. In three starts against Los Angeles so far, Strasburg has pitched 19 innings, allowing three runs and fanning 19.

The Dodgers offense also returned with a bang during yesterday’s game. Hanley Ramirez and Drew Butera both hit home runs and provided run support that has been absent in handfuls of games so far this season. Ramirez, who has faced Strasburg more than any other Dodger due to his time with the Marlins, is a career .308 against the right-hander with a home run. Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig are all hitless against the Nationals starter in 19 combined at-bats.

Kemp receives a day of rest today and Puig returns to the lineup after missing two games, but Crawford will remain in the two spot as Puig is batting fifth. Miguel Olivo will resume his spot behind the plate after a day’s rest, as will Adrian Gonzalez who will be batting in the clean up spot.

Dodgers Lineup

2B: Dee Gordon

LF: Carl Crawford

SS: Hanley Ramirez

1B: Adrian Gonzalez

RF: Yasiel Puig

CF: Andre Ethier

3B: Juan Uribe

C: Miguel Olivo

P: Dan Haren

Nationals Lineup

CF: Denard Span

3B: Anthony Rendon

RF: Jayson Werth

1B: Adam LaRoche

C: Wilson Ramos

SS: Ian Desmond

2B: Danny Espinosa

LF: Kevin Frandsen

P: Stephen Strasburg
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Dodgers Matt Kemp And Yasiel Puig Struggle, Talk Improving Their Game


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