The Los Angeles Dodgers have had limited success against the AL, but a strong start to their current stretch of interleague games could indicate that those struggles are in the past.
The NL West-leading Dodgers look to carry some momentum from a rare interleague series win into Tuesday night as they open a three-game set against the lowly Oakland Athletics.
Los Angeles (42-22) entered its weekend road series against first-place Texas with a 16-32 mark versus the AL since the start of the 2006 season. The Dodgers won three of 16 series in that span.
The Dodgers dropped Friday’s opener 6-0, but bounced back with a 3-1 victory Saturday and a 6-3 win in the finale.
“It means a lot, especially when you lose the first game in their home ballpark,” manager Joe Torre said. “It does a lot for our confidence.”
The Dodgers, owners of the majors’ best record, have not won three straight games against the AL since sweeping a series from the Los Angeles Angels from May 19-21, 2006.
The Dodgers follow this series with three-game sets against the Angels, Chicago White Sox and Seattle.
Kershaw’s 0-1 with a 3.50 ERA in four interleague starts, with the Dodgers backing him with one total run of support in those games. This will be his first start versus Oakland (27-35), which is 1-5 against the NL this season.
Kershaw is looking to get back on track after throwing 83 pitches over 2 2-3 innings in Wednesday’s 3-1 loss to San Diego. The 21-year-old left-hander gave up three runs and five hits while issuing four walks - the fifth time he’s done that in his last six starts.
“He’s got a lot of confidence in his ability, but I’m sure he’s also wondering why he hasn’t gotten better, sooner,” Torre told the Dodgers’ official Web site. “That comes with being young. It’s all about being able to locate consistently. It’ll come. He has to keep going out there and eventually he’ll get the feel on a regular basis.”
The A’s are coming off Sunday’s 7-1 loss to San Francisco, their third straight and fifth in six games. Oakland has cooled off offensively, averaging 2.5 runs in its last six after averaging 6.0 while winning the previous seven contests.
“That’s the great thing about this game,” Athletics first baseman Jason Giambi(notes) told team’s official Web site. “One minute you can be red-hot. The next minute you kind of fall apart. We just need to put the wheels back on and go from there.”
Matt Holliday’s(notes) slump has been a big reason for Oakland’s lack of production, as he’s hitting .148 (4 for 27) with no RBIs in his last eight games. He’s batting .300 (18 for 60) in his last 15 games at Dodger Stadium, but has only one home run and five RBIs in those contests.
Braden allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings of Wednesday’s 6-3 loss to Minnesota, but didn’t get the decision. The left-hander is 2-0 with a 2.91 ERA in his last five starts since allowing six runs in five innings of 9-1 loss to Detroit on May 16.
The A’s have won 10 of their last 12 versus the Dodgers, whom they haven’t met since 2006.