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Preview: Kershaw, Dodgers Face Cubs In Opener Of 10-Game Road Trip

Lenny Ignelzi-AP Photo
Lenny Ignelzi-AP Photo
Lenny Ignelzi-AP Photo

The Los Angeles Dodgers avoided another sweep at the hands of the San Francisco Giants with an offensive outburst Sunday night. Los Angeles now hopes their bats remain hot while the they begin a 10-game road trip. First on the docket is the Chicago Cubs as the two teams begin a four-game series Monday.

Clayton Kershaw takes the mound for the Dodgers and could become the third pitcher in franchise history to strike out 10 or more batters in four consecutive games. The others to do so are Hideo Nomo in 1995 and Sandy Koufax, who did it five times over his career.

After beginning the season on a rough note, Kershaw seemingly has turned things around and looks closer to the dominant ace the Dodgers have seen from him in years prior. Despite the high strikeout rate, however, Kershaw has also been prone to home runs this season.

In his last start, he gave up a towering two-run blast to Rangers rookie Joey Gallo and suffered a loss after giving up two more runs, one unearned. Monday is the first time Kershaw will see another impressive rookie in the Cubs’ Kris Bryant.

Against left-handed starters, Bryant has slash line of .226/.342/.355 in his young career. He also comes into the series having gone hitless in his last three games. Kershaw has six career starts against the Cubs under his belt and has gone 4-2 with a 2.09 ERA. In his last outing at Wrigley Field, he went five winnings and allowed three runs in a 14-5 Dodgers victory.

Opposing Kershaw is Tsuyoshi Wada, who comes into Monday’s game fresh off of picking up his first win of the season in his last start. He held the Cleveland Indians scoreless over seven innings of work and collected six strikeouts in the process. The performance lowered his ERA to 3.68 on the year.

Wada pitched and started against the Dodgers twice in 2014 and has yet to pick up a decision against them. In 10.2 total innings of pitching, he has given up three runs for a 2.53 ERA. The Dodgers continue to use their new lineup with Justin Turner hitting third. Since taking over the spot, Turner has homered in three straight games for the first time in his career.

Jimmy Rollins was given the night off Monday and is replaced by Kiké Hernandez. The start is Hernandez’s 19th of the season, and he’s batting .267/.307/.427 with two home runs and six RBIs in 81 plate appearances.

Dodgers Lineup:

RF: Yasiel Puig

CF: Joc Pederson

3B: Justin Turner

1B: Adrian Gonzalez

2B: Howie Kendrick

LF: Scott Van Slyke

SS: Kiké Hernandez

C: A.J. Ellis

P: Clayton Kershaw

Cubs Lineup:

CF: Dexter Fowler

1B: Anthony Rizzo

3B: Kris Bryant

SS: Starlin Castro

RF: Chris Denorfia

LF: Matt Szczur

C: David Ross

P: Tsuyoshi Wada

2B: Addison Russell

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Jimmy Rollins Talks 10-Game Road Trip

Written by Staff Writer

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