Arizona (7-9) at Los Angeles (7-9)

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Temp: 53° F
  • Game info: 10:40 pm EDT Fri Apr 21, 2006
Preview | Box Score | Recap

If the Los Angeles Dodgers are to challenge in the NL West, they will need to beat divisional foes consistently. Ending a long losing streak against the Arizona Diamondbacks would be a good start.

Los Angeles will try to snap an eight-game skid against Arizona when the teams begin a three-game series at Dodger Stadium on Friday.

The Dodgers (8-8) have been outscored 40-20 in those eight losses since beating the Diamondbacks 3-0 on July 1.

Los Angeles is 1-2 this season against divisional opponents after going 33-41 against them last year.

Odalis Perez (2-0, 5.28 ERA) will try to change the Dodgers’ luck and stay unbeaten in 2006 when he takes the mound. The left-hander is 4-5 with a 3.13 ERA in 17 games, including 16 starts, against the Diamondbacks but he has not beaten them since June 5, 2004.

Perez is coming off his longest and best outing of the season after allowing only a run and three hits over seven innings Saturday in a 3-1 win over San Francisco.

Arizona’s Orlando Hernandez (1-2, 7.04) will make his first career start against the Dodgers. The Cuban right-hander won his only road start on April 5 when he limited Colorado to two runs and six hits through five innings in a 4-2 win.

In two starts since, he has looked little like “El Duque,” allowing a total of 11 runs and 12 hits with six walks over 10 1-3 innings in losses at Colorado and Houston.

Los Angeles has dropped three of four overall, including a 5-4 defeat Thursday to the Chicago Cubs in the finale of that series.

Danys Baez, who inherited the closer’s job after arm injuries to Eric Gagne and Yhency Brazoban, entered in the eighth inning and gave up three runs and four hits in two innings.

Baez had allowed just four hits and struck out six in 5 2-3 innings coming in.

“It was just a crazy thing,” said Baez, explaining how his fielding error on Jacque Jones’ slow roller with two out in the eighth inning resulted in his first blown save.

The loss dropped the Dodgers to 3-3 on a nine-game homestand.

Despite outscoring the Giants 33-26 in its four-game series, Arizona (7-9) settled for a split with the Giants after a 9-7 loss on Thursday.

“We could have easily swept this series and we left with a split, so it’s kind of frustrating,” said Diamondbacks catcher Johnny Estrada, whose three-run homer in the eighth inning had tied the game.

Luis Gonzalez had three more hits, including a homer and two RBIs. He is hitting .364 (8-for-22) with six extra-base hits, including three homers, and 10 RBIs over the last five games.

Gonzalez is batting .346 (9-for-26) with a homer and three RBIs in his career against Perez.

Arizona may again be without starting shortstop Craig Counsell, who was a late scratch Thursday with a tight hamstring and replaced by Damion Easley, who went 0-for-4 with a walk.

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Starting Pitchers

O. Hernandez Was vs. O. Perez Was
11-11 Record 6-8
4.66 ERA 6.20
164 K 81
61 BB 31
1.33 WHIP 1.58