Los Angeles (41-22) at Texas (35-26)

Fair Currently: Arlington, TX
Temp: 84° F
  • Game info: 3:05 pm EDT Sun Jun 14, 2009
  • TV: KCAL, FSSW
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Los Angeles Dodgers have struggled of late, but not enough to let things get out of hand.

Chad Billingsley(notes) looks for his ninth victory Sunday while trying to help the Dodgers to a second straight win in the finale of a three-game road set with the Texas Rangers.

After scoring a single run in losing its previous two games, Los Angeles (41-22) won 3-1 at Texas on Saturday in a game that featured a 1-hour, 41-minute delay because of a light failure.

Matt Kemp(notes) hit a two-run homer for the NL-leading Dodgers, who snapped Texas’ scoreless streak at 24 innings while avoiding a season-high third straight defeat.

“If we keep the losing streaks to a minimum, we are going to enjoy October, no question,” said Los Angeles manager Joe Torre, whose team is 7-7 since winning four in a row.

Juan Pierre(notes) singled for the Dodgers and finally has enough at-bats to qualify among the league leaders with a .348 batting average.

Though Los Angeles is hitting .230 in its last 14 games, a huge offensive output might not be necessary with Billingsley (8-3, 2.73 ERA) on the mound.

Making his first appearance against Texas, the right-hander looks to become the first nine-game winner in the NL and third in the majors along with Toronto’s Roy Halladay(notes) (10) and Minnesota’s Kevin Slowey(notes) (9).

After losing his final two starts of May, Billingsley has given up three runs while striking out 14 in winning his first two of June. All three runs came along with eight hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 6-4 victory over San Diego on Tuesday.

“I had to battle through it and I was able to keep the game close,” Billingsley told the Dodgers’ official Web site.

Billingsley’s former teammate Andruw Jones(notes) homered Saturday for the AL West-leading Rangers (35-26), who were coming off consecutive shutout victories at home for the first time in 29 seasons.

Jones, who hit .158 with three homers and 14 RBIs in 75 games last season for the Dodgers, is batting .248 with six homers and 16 RBIs in his first with the Rangers.

Though among the majors’ top offensive clubs, the Rangers have scored 11 runs while losing three of their last five games.

“We just need to come back out (Sunday) and play hard,” Michael Young(notes) told the team’s official Web site after the Rangers fell to 4-1 in interleague play. “We’re a confident group, we can make adjustments.”

Derek Holland(notes) (1-3, 6.54) makes his second straight start after replacing Doug Mathis(notes) in the Rangers’ rotation.

The left-hander was scheduled to go Thursday, but was pushed back after rain postponed the series finale with Toronto. In his last outing, Holland gave up four runs and six hits while striking out five in an 8-1 loss to Boston on June 6.

The 22-year old Holland, who is 0-2 with a 7.04 ERA in three starts, is likely to return to the bullpen next week when Matt Harrison(notes) comes off the disabled list.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Billingsley Phi vs. D. Holland Tex
12-11 Record 8-13
4.03 ERA 6.12
179 K 107
86 BB 47
1.32 WHIP 1.50

Scoreboard

Sunday, Jun 14