The Los Angeles Dodgers are looking to bounce back in the second of a four-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In the first game of the series, the Dodgers allowed the Pirates to score three runs in the seventh inning and suffered a 6-3 loss. Josh Beckett now takes the mound for the Dodgers.
Becket enters the game fresh off his first career no-hitter Sunday and hopes to continue his strong pitching. In nine games this season, he carries a record of 3-1 with a 2.43 ERA. Against the Philadelphia Phillies, Beckett struck out six, which increased his season total to 52, second most on the team.
For the Pirates, Francisco Liriano has the starting duties. Friday’s game will mark the 11th start of the year for Liriano, who comes in with an 0-5 record and 5.06 ERA. In his last outing, Liriano earned four runs in five innings work. He will hope to get his first win of the season after earning a loss in each of his last two starts.
Despite Liriano’s troubles early this season, the Dodgers cannot take him lightly. The team has struggled this season against left-handed pitchers, hitting just .216 against them. Producing runs has also been a major problem for the Dodgers, as only 52 of their 234 total runs have come against left-handers.
This year is Liriano’s second season in the National League, and as a result, he hasn’t had much history with the Dodgers. His only time facing the Boys in Blue came in 2006 when he got a win as a member of the Minnesota Twins.
First baseman Adrian Gonzalez was given the night off with Scott Van Slyke getting the starting job in his place. Although primiraly an outfielder, the start will be Van Slyke’s fifth appearance at first base on the season. Van Slyke is batting .254 with four home runs on the year.
With Van Slyke playing at first, Matt Kemp remains in left field, who has been filling in for the injured Carl Crawford while Andre Ethier continues to handle the duties in center field.
1B: Van Slyke
Dodgers Update: Matt Kemp Benched, Carl Crawford Injured