Maddux looks to move into sole possession of eighth place on the career wins list on Saturday night when he faces the San Francisco Giants for the second straight start.
The Dodgers (83-77) clinched the NL West on Thursday and are assured of opening the division series on the road against either Philadelphia, the Chicago Cubs or New York Mets, making their final two games of the season meaningless as far as the playoff race is concerned.
Maddux (7-13, 4.31 ERA), though, has plenty to play for as he seeks his 355th career win which would break a tie with Roger Clemens and put him into sole possession of eighth place on the all-time list.
With a chance to get that victory in his last start, Maddux was tagged for seven runs and nine hits over five innings in a 7-1 home loss to the Giants on Sept. 19. Assured of finishing with fewer than 10 wins for the first time since 1987, Maddux is 1-4 with a 5.71 ERA in six starts since the Dodgers reacquired him from San Diego on Aug. 19.
Last week’s defeat ended his seven-game winning streak against San Francisco and dropped him to 30-15 with a 2.92 ERA in 54 starts versus the Giants.
Dave Roberts singled home the winning run in the 10th inning Friday night, giving the Giants a 6-5 victory over the rival Dodgers.
Molina is batting .428 (15-for-35) with three homers and nine RBIs during a nine-game hitting streak.
Kent’s homer against his former club further boosted his chances of making the playoff roster on the heels of knee surgery. Kent returned from the disabled list last Saturday, less than three weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.
“He’s remarkable, isn’t he?” Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. “The thing about his stroke is it’s so uncomplicated. It’s short. Timing isn’t as important as it is for someone with a longer stroke.”
Torre played left fielder Manny Ramirez for 3 1/2 innings and he had two singles. Torre gave third baseman Casey Blake the night off entirely, leaving it up to Blake how much he’ll play the rest of the weekend. Ramirez is scheduled to play Saturday then sit Sunday’s regular-season finale.
Matt Cain (8-13, 3.80) seeks his first win in more than a month for San Francisco. The right-hander is 0-4 with a 4.75 ERA in seven starts since beating Atlanta on Aug. 15 for his most recent victory. He has, however, pitched very well in his past two starts and limited the Dodgers to five hits in six innings of the Giants’ 1-0, 11-inning win on Sunday.
Cain has received almost no offensive support in five starts this season against Los Angeles, going 0-2 with a 2.84 while getting 1.42 runs to work with. He is 0-5 with a 4.24 ERA in 10 career starts versus the Dodgers.
Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier is 15-for-25 (.600) lifetime against Cain.