Diamondbacks eye victory in opener with Kemp, Dodgers

The NL West-champion Arizona Diamondbacks are still alive game series versus the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight from Chase Field.

Arizona is a game behind the Milwaukee Brewers for the second-best record in the league behind the Philadelphia Phillies. If the Diamondbacks and Brewers finish with identical records, Arizona would hold the tiebreaker by virtue of winning the season series.

The D'Backs posted a three-game sweep of the San Francisco Giants over the weekend and have won four straight and six of their last seven games. In Sunday's 5-2 win over the defending World Series champions, Josh Collmenter limited San Francisco to a pair of runs in seven innings of work. David Hernandez tossed a scoreless eighth inning and J.J. Putz tacked on his 45th save in the ninth.

"Our intentions are to try and win out," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "Wherever we go to play on Saturday (in the playoffs) is fine."

Miguel Montero hit a two-run double for Arizona, which survived a scare when outfielder Justin Upton was hit in the head by a Tim Lincecum pitch in the first inning. Upton remained in the game, but did not return for the second inning. He is expected to be evaluated further on Monday.

"Justin got hit on the bill of his helmet, thank goodness it was a glancing blow than a direct blow," D'Backs physician Michael Lee said. "Neurologically, he looked great on the field according to the trainers, no loss of consciousness, had no loss of memory."

Daniel Hudson draws the start tonight for Arizona and has lost two straight outings since winning four straight trips to the hill. In Tuesday's 5-3 loss versus Pittsburgh, Hudson gave up three runs and seven hits in five innings to fall to 16-11 in 32 starts to go along with a 3.43 ERA.

The right-hander lost at Los Angeles on Sept. 14, allowing two runs in seven innings of a 3-2 setback. Hudson is 2-1 with a 1.82 ERA in three career starts against the Dodgers.

Los Angeles hopes to throw a wrench in Arizona's plans for the No. 2 seed and has won seven of its last nine games. In Sunday's 6-2 win over San Diego in the finale of a three-game series from Petco Park, Dodgers ace and NL Cy Young Award candidate Clayton Kershaw improved to 21-5 by holding the Padres to a pair of runs and four hits in 7 1/3 frames. His 21 victories are the most for a Dodger since Orel Hershiser had 23 in 1988.

"It's completely out of my control. I can't do anything about it," Kershaw said of the possibility of winning the Cy Young Award. "It's been an awesome year, it's just unfortunate we didn't make the playoffs."

Rod Barajas hit a two-run homer, Matt Kemp added an RBI double and Aaron Miles finished with two RBI for the Dodgers. Kemp, a Triple Crown threat, needs three home runs to become only the fifth player in MLB history with a 40- homer, 40-steal season. He is riding a nine-game hitting streak and is aiming for baseball's first Triple Crown since Boston's Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.

Jerry Sands extended his hitting streak to a career-best 13 games.

Dana Eveland will take the ball for LA tonight and has lost two straight starts since winning his first two trips to the bump. Eveland allowed five runs and six hits in four innings of an 8-5 loss versus San Francisco, and fell to 2-2 with a 3.75 earned run average.

Eveland, a left-hander, is 1-1 with a 10.80 ERA in four career games (1 start) against the Diamondbacks. He has won both of his road starts this season.

Arizona is 9-6 against the Dodgers this season.