Things are beginning to come together again for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The current NL West leaders will shoot for a fourth straight win tonight in the continuation of a four-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The start of July has been much better than the end of June as the club dropped seven straight and 11 of 12 games to close out the month. So far the Dodgers are 4-1 in July and posted a 4-1 win at Chase Field last night. Scott Van Slyke and Elian Herrera both homered and Nathan Eovaldi earned his first win of the season with six innings of one-run ball.
"We're just scratching for every win we can get now. We regrouped a little and have kind of been able to pitch good," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "We're getting the pitching, now we're able to put a few runs up."
The news wasn't all good for Mattingly's club on Thursday. Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon, who leads the majors in steals, is expected to miss the next six weeks due to a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb. He was put on the 15-day disabled list and will have surgery on Friday.
The Dodgers, who halted a four-game road losing streak and are 1 1/2 games ahead of San Francisco in the division, replaced Gordon on the roster by activating right-handed reliever Javy Guerra from the 15-day DL.
Los Angeles All-Star outfielder Matt Kemp (hamstring) is progressing in his rehab stint and went 1-for-4 with an RBI over seven innings in his third rehab appearance for Class A Rancho Cucamonga. Kemp is expected to play a few games in the minors and is slated to participate in the Home Run Derby on Monday as part of the All-Star festivities.
Clayton Kershaw may start the All-Star Game on Tuesday, but first must get through the Diamondbacks tonight. Kershaw, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, has performed well throughout his career against Arizona, going 7-2 with a 1.92 earned run average in 11 starts. He defeated the D-backs on May 14 at Dodger Stadium with seven shutout innings in a 3-1 triumph.
Kershaw is coming off Sunday's 8-3 victory over the New York Mets and helped the club end a seven-game slide by yielding three runs -- one earned -- through seven innings. The left-hander also struck out nine batters to improve to 6-4 in 17 starts to go along with a 2.65 ERA.
Arizona is mired in a six-game slide and is 0-4 so far on a seven-game homestand. All-Star Wade Miley suffered his second straight loss last night and third in five tries by giving up four runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings.
"I left some balls up, I just wasn't executing pitches, missing up in the zone, trying to go away and the ball comes back over the plate. They were making me pay," Miley said.
Stephen Drew knocked in the lone run for the Diamondbacks. The D-backs are still 10-5 in their last 15 games in the desert. They had homered in 15 straight games until Thursday's loss.
Arizona second baseman Aaron Hill went 0-for-3 had his 19-game home hitting streak snapped. Hill also lost out in the final vote for a spot on the NL All- Star roster. Outfielder Jason Kubel also finished 0-for-3, but still leads the majors with 34 RBI in 26 games since June 5.
Taking the mound for Arizona Friday night will be Josh Collmenter. Collmenter could be making his final start since injured left Joe Saunders is slated to come off the disabled list soon. Collmenter is 0-2 in 16 games (6 starts) with a 4.41 ERA this season and did not record a decision in Sunday's 2-1 loss at Milwaukee in which he was reached for just a run in six innings.
Collmenter, a right-hander is 1-2 with a 7.07 ERA in four career games, three of which have been starts, against the Dodgers.
LA has won four of six matchups with the D-backs this season and is 7-3 in the past 10 meetings between the division foes. The Dodgers also have won five of their last seven trips to Chase Field.