The Dodgers and major league-worst Astros each try to avoid a fourth straight loss Friday night when they open a series in Southern California.
Los Angeles (31-39) continues its season-high 12-game homestand after getting swept at Chavez Ravine in a three-game series for the first time since June 11-13, 2010. Wednesday’s 7-2 loss to Cincinnati dropped the Dodgers eight games below the break-even point for the first time since they were 47-55 on July 26, 2006.
“You’ve got to keep believing that this thing’s going to turn, but it’s going to take everybody on this club being ready to play,” said manager Don Mattingly.
“He needs to get good pitches to hit and hit the ball hard, and the results will be there,” Mattingly said.
They have been for Matt Kemp(notes), who looks to extend his season-high hitting streak to 10. The Dodgers center fielder, batting .467 (14 for 30) with four homers and eight RBIs during this stretch, is 4 for 10 with two doubles and a home run off Friday’s scheduled starter Brett Myers(notes) (2-6, 5.03 ERA).
The Astros right-hander went 14-8 last season and was pegged as the club’s ace after signing a two-year extension July 31, but he’s been highly ineffective this year, posting his highest ERA since 2004 and surrendering a major league-high 18 homers - two fewer than in 33 starts in 2010.
“Same thing every time I start,” Myers said after getting tagged for two homers in Sunday’s 4-1 loss to Atlanta. “Two pitches end up losing me the game. It’s frustrating.”
That’s been a common feeling for him in June. He is 10-14 with a 5.61 ERA in 35 career starts this month.
However, Myers is 4-2 with a 2.64 ERA in 11 starts against Los Angeles.
Houston (25-45), loser of 11 of 13, could use a strong effort from Myers after Thursday’s 5-4 loss to Pittsburgh dropped the club 20 games below .500 for the first time since Sept. 23, 2007.
Lilly tossed six innings of one-run ball in a 2-1 loss at Houston on May 25, and he is 7-2 in 14 starts against the Astros with a 2.30 ERA - his lowest against any team.
Hunter Pence(notes) hasn’t enjoyed much success against Lilly, striking out 10 times and recording seven hits in 35 at-bats, but the Astros right-fielder brings in a .400 batting average with four homers and 20 RBIs over his last 26 games.
Pence was 5 for 13 with two RBIs as Houston won two of three against the visiting Dodgers from May 23-25.
Kemp had four hits - including two solo homers - in 12 at-bats during that series.
Los Angeles, trying to avoid its first five-game home losing streak since an 0-6 stretch Aug. 2-14, 2007, has won four straight at Dodger Stadium in this matchup after losing eight of 10 to the visiting Astros.