Diamondbacks-Dodgers preview

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers resume their pursuit of the top spot in the National League West with a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks beginning Friday at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers (57-45), who lost two of three to the Diamondbacks following the All-Star break, have gone 16-9 in their last 25 games and made up ground on the struggling NL West-leading San Francisco Giants. San Francisco's advantage in the division has dwindled from 6 1/2 games at the All-Star break to two. The Giants (59-43) have dropped 10 of 12 since the break.

Dodgers right-hander Kenta Maeda (9-7, 3.25 ERA), who starts Friday, was knocked around for five runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings in a 6-5 Arizona decision July 17 in Phoenix.

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However, Maeda bounced back Saturday in St. Louis against the Cardinals, holding them to two runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings in a 7-2 victory by the Dodgers. Maeda fanned three and didn't walk a batter on 92 pitches.

"I think he's exceeded our expectations," manager Dave Roberts said of Maeda, who is in his first season in the majors after pitching for eight campaigns in Japan. "He's pitched in some big games and thrown really well and you can't expect him to be great every time out. But I think that under all the circumstances, the adjustments, Kenta's been fantastic. Every time he takes the ball we feel good about it.

"He does a great job of taking care of himself, very athletic, does a lot of things on the field to help you win baseball games."

Right-hander Zack Godley (3-1, 5.88), who has never started against Los Angeles, takes the ball for the Diamondbacks. Godley earned a win against the Reds in his last start Sunday despite surrendering five runs in 5 2/3 innings.

The Diamondbacks (42-60), though, have stumbled since winning the Dodgers' series. Arizona has lost seven of its last nine, dropping three of four to the Milwaukee Brewers, including a 6-4 defeat Thursday.

The lone win against the Brewers was an 8-1 rout Wednesday.

"That was a great game today. We hit a couple of home runs and put a lot of runs on the board early," Diamondbacks shortstop Jean Segura said.

The Dodgers, who were off Thursday, had their three-game winning streak snapped Wednesday in a 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. The Dodgers, who split the two-game series with Tampa Bay, managed only four hits against Rays starter Matt Moore.

"Moore was good and kept us off-balance and made pitches when he needed to," Roberts said. "We just really couldn't stress him."

Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke won't pitch against his former club during this trip. Greinke is on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain.