The Arizona Diamondbacks try to continue their recent mastery of the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday when they continue a four-game set against them at Dodger Stadium.
Arizona beat the Dodgers for the seventh straight time in Thursday's opener, as Ian Kennedy worked 6 1/3 stellar innings to guide the Diamondbacks to a 2-0 triumph.
Kennedy (12-11) allowed just two hits struck out seven to pick up his seventh win in 10 tries. J.J. Putz stranded runners on the corners in the ninth to earn his 27th save of the season.
"I felt good, I was upset, but that's just the competitor in me," Kennedy said about being pulled in the seventh inning. "We've (Arizona) had a bad stretch recently, but we're still within reach."
Chris Young hit a two-run homer for the D-backs, who snapped a six-game skid overall.
Clayton Kershaw (12-8) allowed nine hits, including Young's four-bagger, and struck out nine over six innings to absorb the loss.
Shane Victorino, Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez each tallied singles for the Dodgers, who are now 4 1/2 games back of National League West-leading San Francisco. Los Angeles is also 1 1/2 games back of the second wild card spot in the NL.
"It's a loss we really can't afford," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "There are guys in that clubhouse that I trust will get the job done. We've got to do better in everything we do. I can give the other guy (Kennedy) credit, but that doesn't do us any good."
Getting the gall for the D-backs on Friday will be righty Trevor Cahill, who is winless in his last five starts. Cahill absorbed the loss on Sunday against San Diego, as he was ripped for four runs, eight hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings, dropping him to 9-11 on the year with a 3.99 ERA.
Cahill beat the Dodgers the last time he faced them and is a perfect 3-0 in four starts against them with a sparkling 1.85 ERA.
Los Angeles, meanwhile, will counter with righty Aaron Harang, who is 9-8 with a 3.70 ERA. Harang had a two-start winning streak stopped on Sunday against Miami, as he allowed three runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Harang lost to Cahill and the D-backs on July 30 and was hit hard in that one to the tune of seven runs in only five innings. He is 3-7 lifetime against Arizona with a 2.98 ERA in 15 games (14 starts).
Arizona is 9-4 against the Dodgers this season.