Hard-luck Kuroda, Dodgers host Pirates at Chavez Ravine

Hiroki Kuroda tries to avoid his 17th loss of the season game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates at Dodger Stadium.

Kuroda lost his second straight start on Sunday in San Francisco, as he gave up three runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings, dropping him to 11-16 on the year to go along with a 3.25 earned run average.

He had won four straight starts prior to his current slide. Should Kuroda lose another one tonight, though, he would become the first Los Angeles pitcher to lose 17 since Fernando Valenzuela in 1984.

Kuroda could easily get himself untracked this evening, however. He pitched seven scoreless innings to beat the Pirates back on May 11 and is 4-1 lifetime against them with a 1.89 ERA in six starts.

Pittsburgh, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Jeff Locke, who will be making the second big league start of his career. Locke lost his big league debut last Saturday against Florida, as he allowed three runs and five hits in five innings.

The Pirates will be trying to make it two straight wins tonight after drawing first blood in Thursday's opener. Ross Ohlendorf pitched seven strong innings and even added a three-run homer, as Pittsburgh rolled to a 6-2 win.

Ohlendorf (1-2) scattered four hits and two runs and took Dana Eveland deep in the seventh inning for his first career round-tripper.

"Ross kept us on our heels all night," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said

Brandon Wood, Ryan Ludwick and Ryan Doumit each chipped in two hits and an RBI for Pittsburgh, which had secured its 19th straight losing season with a loss on Wednesday.

Eveland (2-1) was charged with four runs on eight hits over five frames in the loss, Los Angeles' fourth in five games.

Los Angeles is 3-2 against Pittsburgh this season and has won six of the previous eight matchups between the two ballclubs.