The Dodgers look to stay hot behind Kuroda when he tries to win his fourth straight start and hand the visiting San Diego Padres a sixth consecutive loss Tuesday night.
From April 30-Aug. 8, Kuroda (10-14, 2.92 ERA) went 4-12 with a 2.96 ERA over 18 starts in which Los Angeles scored 29 total runs with him in the game. In three starts since that stretch, the Dodgers (63-70) have scored 24 runs while Kuroda posted a 2.25 ERA to win them all.
“Having the run support makes a lot of difference,” said Kuroda, who allowed three runs in seven innings of a 9-4 victory at St. Louis on Wednesday. “I kept believing there’s a baseball god that was watching over me and would balance things out.”
That baseball deity might have helped Kuroda go 3-0 in his last four starts versus San Diego, limiting the Padres to three runs in 30 2-3 innings. He’s given up two of those runs while going 2-0 in three starts this season. The most recent came Aug. 2, when he yielded four hits and struck out eight in seven innings of a 1-0 victory at Petco Park.
Kuroda appears to have a good chance to continue his success against the slumping Padres (60-75), who have scored four runs during their five-game skid and just seven while losing six of seven against the Dodgers.
Clayton Kershaw(notes) held San Diego to six hits while going the distance to earn his 17th win of the season in Los Angeles’ 4-1 victory Monday. James Loney(notes) hit a two-run homer and Andre Ethier(notes) added three hits as the Dodgers won for the sixth time in seven games to improve to 15-11 in August and clinch their first winning month in 2011.
Ethier was 5 for 48 in his previous 14 games before missing Sunday’s 7-6 loss at Colorado with a sore right knee that will require surgery. That surgery likely won’t take place until after the season, contrary to recent reports in which the All-Star implied he did not want to finish the season.
“There’s nothing to talk about,” said Ethier of the situation.
While Ethier has hit .375 (9 for 24) with four RBIs at home versus San Diego this season, Loney is 18 for 35 with four homers and 10 RBIs in his last 10 games overall.
Loney is 4 for 12 with a double against scheduled San Diego starter Tim Stauffer(notes) (8-10, 3.42), who is 1-1 with a 1.89 ERA in three starts versus Los Angeles in 2011. That victory came when he gave up six hits in six innings of a 3-0 win Aug. 3.
After surrendering nine runs in three innings of a 13-1 loss at Cincinnati on Aug. 13, the right-hander has allowed three over 13 innings while splitting his last two starts. Stauffer gave up two runs in six innings of a 2-1 loss at San Francisco on Wednesday.
“I don’t look forward or behind, I just try to keep it simple,” he said.