After dropping two consecutive games to the Philadelphia Phillies, the Los Angeles Dodgers got a dominant outing from Zack Greinke and timely hitting from Yasiel Puig to get a 5-2 win Wednesday. Hanley Ramirez also broke out of his slump for the night, hitting a double and solo home run. Along with the offense shaking itself from the inability to score runs, the defense had an error-less night in what’s been a season full of defensive mistakes.
Tasked with winning the finale of the four-game series and giving the Dodgers a series split, is veteran Dan Haren. The 33-year-old is making his fifth start this season and is undefeated at 3-0 with a 2.16 ERA. Haren began the season with back-to-back solid outings of six innings each, picking up a win and a no-decision.
The right-hander then struggled in a road start against the Arizona Diamondbacks but picked up another win, despite saying post game he felt as though he was throwing under water. Haren followed that up with his longest outing to this point in 2014, which is also his most recent, throwing 7.1 innings against the Diamondbacks in an 8-6 win on April 19.
As a member of the Washington Nationals last season, Haren faced the Phillies four times, going 1-1. In three of the four games, Haren held the Phillies to three runs or less. Of the Phillies expected to be in Ryne Sandberg’s lineup, Marlon Byrd and Ben Revere have had the most success against the Dodger right-hander. In 21 career at-bats, Byrd is hitting .476 off Haren. Revere has hit against Haren 11 times and has a .364 batting average.
Taking the mound for the Phillies is Kyle Kendrick, who is in his eighth season with the club. Kendrick has recorded double-digit wins in the previous two seasons, but also finished below .500 in both years. Through four starts, Kendrick is 0-2 with a 3.60 ERA. The right-hander has gone at least six innings in three of his four starts and has recorded a minimum of three strikeouts in all of his starts. Yasiel Puig leads the Dodgers with a .883 batting average against Kendrick, however only in six at-bats. Matt Kemp is 6-for-15 in his career off Kendrick, good for a .400 average.
Dee Gordon returns to the lineup tonight and it’s Kemp’s turn to sit, which comes as somewhat of a surprise given his two doubles in Tuesday’s win and career success in hitting Kendrick. Adrian Gonzalez is also starting after earning his first rest of the season on Tuesday.
The game is a 7:10 PM start and can be seen on Time Warner Cable’s SportsNet LA.
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