Despite the issues surrounding the club off the field, the Los Angeles Dodgers have played pretty well on it of late.
The Dodgers look to extend their season-best winning streak to six games Saturday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks, who try to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat.
On the same day the club’s proposed bankruptcy financing was questioned by a U.S. trustee and embattled owner Frank McCourt asked a judge to reduce the amount of support he’s paying his ex-wife in their divorce battle, the Dodgers (42-51) beat Arizona 6-4 on Friday for their fifth consecutive victory following five straight losses.
“It feels good,” said All-Star Matt Kemp(notes), who hit a two-run homer and drove in four runs. “We closed out the first half strong, winning four games in a row, and to come back and get another win, we’ve just got to keep going.”
Kemp, who did not make it out of the first round in Monday’s Home Run Derby in Arizona after being selected to compete in the event over Diamondbacks slugger Justin Upton(notes), has 23 homers - one off Lance Berkman’s(notes) NL lead. He’s hit .313 with six home runs in 34 career games at Chase Field.
Juan Rivera(notes) homered Friday in his first at-bat for the Dodgers, who acquired him in a trade with Toronto during the All-Star break. He’s 11 for 29 with two homers and six RBIs in 10 career games versus Arizona.
Strong pitching has also keyed the recent success for the Dodgers, whose starters have allowed five runs - one earned - over 34 innings the last five games. All four runs Clayton Kershaw(notes) allowed Friday were unearned.
The right-hander has received 2.53 runs of support per nine innings while going 1-5 with a 2.32 ERA his last seven starts. Kuroda, however, allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings of a 5-3 loss to the Mets on July 6 after giving up two total runs in his previous three outings.
“He was OK, not quite as sharp as he’s been really,” manager Don Mattingly told the Dodgers’ official website.
Kuroda is 1-3 with a 6.08 ERA in six career starts at Chase Field.
Upton went 0 for 4 and is hitless in eight at-bats the last two games. He’s 2 for 12 with five strikeouts against Kuroda.
Ian Kennedy(notes) (9-3, 3.44) looks to help end the Diamondbacks’ skid and set a career high for wins. The right-hander allowed three runs in six innings of a 7-6 victory at St. Louis on July 8 to match his win total from last season.
“I needed to find something just to grind through it,” Kennedy told the Diamondbacks’ official website. “(It) was one of those games where you don’t feel very well but you have to get through it.”
Kennedy has never faced Los Angeles at home, but he struck out eight in six innings of a 4-1 victory at Dodger Stadium on May 15.