Arizona (23-29) at Los Angeles (35-18)

Fair Currently: Los Angeles, CA
Temp: 73° F
  • Game info: 10:10 pm EDT Tue Jun 2, 2009
  • TV: FSAZ, KCAL
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Nearly halfway into Manny Ramirez’s(notes) 50-game suspension, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ offense appears to be starting to feel the effects of the slugger’s missing bat.

Trying to break out their little funk against one of the league’s top pitchers won’t make it any easier.

The Dodgers look to avoid losing for the fourth time in five games Tuesday night when they continue a three-game series against Dan Haren(notes) and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Los Angeles (35-18) leads the NL in runs (289), but the offense hasn’t been producing at its normal pace lately.

In Monday’s 3-2 loss to Arizona (23-29), the Dodgers were held scoreless until the ninth inning. With the defeat, Los Angeles dropped to 14-10 since Ramirez began serving his suspension for violating baseball’s drug policy on May 7.

The Dodgers had plenty of scoring chances Monday, but were 3 for 14 with runners in scoring position, falling to 9 for 35 (.257) in such situations in their past five games.

Los Angeles beat the Chicago Cubs 8-2 on Sunday, the only time in its last five games it’s scored more than two runs.

Haren (4-4, 2.54 ERA), meanwhile, has yielded two runs or less in seven of his 10 starts this season.

On Thursday, Haren gave up two runs and seven hits in eight innings of a 5-2 win over Atlanta to lower his ERA, which ranks fifth-best in the NL. The right-hander also stuck out eight and walked none and leads the league in strikeout-to-walk ratio with 71 strikeouts and nine base on balls in 71 innings.

“He can control a game,” Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch said of Haren. “It’s a sight to see when he competes. He executes pitches, he’s got a game plan. He doesn’t back down.”

On April 12 against the Dodgers, Haren was a tough-luck loser, allowing two runs and four hits in six innings of a 3-1 defeat.

Although Haren ranks as one of the league’s top pitchers, he struggled at pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium last season, recording a 10.38 ERA in losing both starts there.

Los Angeles’ Hiroki Kuroda(notes) made his first appearance Monday since his opening-day victory at San Diego and gave up two runs and three hits in five innings.

With Kuroda missing nearly two months with an oblique strain, scheduled starter Randy Wolf(notes) (3-1, 2.84) and Chad Billingsley(notes) have been leading the Dodgers’ rotation.

Wolf, 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA in his last seven starts, allowed one run and six hits with seven strikeouts in seven innings of Thursday’s 2-1 win over the Cubs.

“I finally had my fastball velocity back, couple of starts I was down a little bit, but I felt a lot stronger,” Wolf said.

The left-hander had one of his best starts of the season against Haren and the Diamondbacks in April, giving up one run, two hits and two walks while striking out five in seven innings to earn the win. He’s 7-2 with a 4.00 ERA in 10 starts versus Arizona since 2001.

The Diamondbacks won for fifth time in six road games and snapped a seven-game losing streak at Dodger Stadium with Monday’s victory.

Rookie Josh Whitesell(notes) hit a two-run double for Arizona, which has not won a series in Los Angeles since sweeping a three-game set Aug. 3-5, 2007.

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Starting Pitchers

D. Haren Mia vs. R. Wolf Tor
14-10 Record 11-7
3.14 ERA 3.23
223 K 160
38 BB 58
1.00 WHIP 1.10

Scoreboard

Tuesday, Jun 2