Veteran left-hander Scott Kazmir looks to stay on a roll Thursday when Los Angeles opens a four-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers at Dodger Stadium.
Kazmir hasn't lost since May 9, when he allowed four runs (three earned) over 5 2/3 innings in a 4-2 loss to the Mets. In his six starts since, he's gone 3-0 with a 3.47 ERA with 39 strikeouts in 36 1/3 innings.
Against the Giants last time out, Kazmir allowed three runs over five innings as the Dodgers dropped a 10-inning marathon to their archrivals 5-4 on Saturday in San Francisco.
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The Dodgers go into their series with Milwaukee six games behind the NL West-leading Giants.
"It's just a matter of everyone clicking at the same time, and it just hasn't happened yet," Kazmir said. "I speak for everyone in the room when I say it's frustrating to be at the point right now with what we're capable of doing."
While the Dodgers' pitching staff has essentially turned into a M*A*S*H unit with six arms on the disabled list, Los Angeles' bullpen has been more than reliable, posting a 3.01 ERA this season -- best among National League teams.
"I think it's one of those things that they have bought in, and I have also learned them more in the sense of not having dedicated roles, but putting them in the best position to have success, whether it's the fifth, six, seventh, eighth inning," manager Dave Roberts told ESPN.com. "Outside of Kenley (Jansen), they have all moved around. I think that has played some part into their success."
The Dodgers face a Milwaukee team looking to bounce back after a three-game sweep in San Francisco that was capped off with an ugly 10-1 drubbing Wednesday afternoon that included four errors.
"We didn't do ourselves any favors," said Brewers manager Craig Counsell, whose team has lost five of its last seven games. "We didn't play a good defensive game."
Milwaukee hands the ball to 31-year-old rookie right-hander Junior Guerra, who takes the mound for his ninth career start and is looking to earn his first victory in nearly a month.
He went 3-0 with a 3.30 ERA in his first five starts, and has pitched effectively since (0-1, 3.32 ERA over three outings) but has had little to show for it. Guerra held the Mets to a run on five hits over 6 2/3 innings his last time out -- a 2-1 Brewers loss at Miller Park.
"I wasn't missing bats," said Guerra, who has worked at least six innings in seven of his eight starts this season. "They were being very aggressive, but I was able to keep the ball low and make good pitches and get nice little ground balls and fly balls."
Neither starter has faced his opponent before but Milwaukee has dropped five of its last seven meetings with the Dodgers, including two of the last three in Los Angeles.