(Sports Network) - Joe Torre's final home series for the Los Angeles Dodgers will commence tonight with the first of three straight games against the National League West-foe Arizona Diamondbacks from Chavez Ravine.
Torre announced last month that he will be stepping down as manager of the Dodgers and hopes to finish with a .500 record, since Los Angeles is three games under that mark heading into the final series of the 2010 campaign. Don Mattingly has worked with Torre for many years and will take over as manager for the 2011 season.
The Dodgers just swept Colorado in three games and have won five of their last seven contests, including Wednesday's 7-6 victory over the Rockies at Coors Field. Matt Kemp clubbed a grand slam in a five-run third inning and James Loney knocked in two runs for Los Angeles, which won't have a chance for three straight NLCS appearances.
"I hit it pretty good," Kemp said about his 25th homer of the season. "I just put a good swing on it and good things happen when you do that."
Carlos Monasterios started for Los Angeles and did not record a decision for yielding five runs over 4 2/3 innings. Ramon Troncoso collected the win with 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief and Ronald Belisario later held on for his second save in the ninth, despite allowing a run and two hits.
Rookie John Ely draws the start for Torre's club Friday night and is winless in his last five trips to the bump (0-4). He was beaten by Arizona in Phoenix last Saturday in a 5-2 loss, as he surrendered four runs on seven hits and six walks over 5 1/3 innings. He fell to 4-9 in 17 starts and raised his earned run average to 5.10.
Ely, a right-hander, is 1-1 in three starts against the D'Backs.
Arizona was swept in three games at San Francisco and is coming off Thursday's 4-1 loss in the series finale. Kelly Johnson had two hits and starting pitcher Barry Enright scored Mark Reynolds with a sacrifice fly in defeat.
Enright gave up three homers and four runs in five innings to absorb the loss.
"We want to be in [the Giants'] position next year," Enright said. "That's going to be our goal. That's going to be what we're striving for in the offseason, spring training and beyond."
Zach Kroenke is scheduled to make his first major league start for the Diamondbacks tonight and owns a 21.60 earned run average in two relief appearances in September. He lasted 1 1/3 innings and allowed three runs in a 13-4 setback at Colorado on Sept. 10, then yielded a run in just one-third of an inning in a 9-6 setback in Pittsburgh eight days later.
The left-hander is taking the spot of injured pitcher Daniel Hudson and went 7-3 with a 3.51 ERA with Triple-A Reno.
Los Angeles has dominated the season series with Arizona by an 11-4 count and is 5-1 in the six games played at Dodger Stadium. LA swept a three-game set in Hollywood from May 31 - June 2.