No Offense, No Problem As Kuroda, Dodgers Shut Out Brewers

Hiroki Kuroda has allowed no runs in 14 2/3 innings in his last two starts.

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Kuroda, Kemp Lead Dodgers Over Brewers, 3-0

Hiroki Kuroda was magnificent, pitching 7 2/3 scoreless innings, leading the Dodgers to a 3-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. Matt Kemp provided the offense for the Dodgers with a two-run home run in the first inning, and the Dodgers added an insurance run in the eighth inning on an RBI double by Jerry Sands.

Kuroda has not allowed a run in each of his last two starts, spanning 14 2/3 innings. Kuroda allowed just six hits and two walks in his 7 2/3 innings tonight, striking out seven. Kuroda on the season leads the Dodgers in innings pitched (61), is tied for the lead in wins (five), and second to Clayton Kershaw with a 2.80 ERA. Tonight was the 22nd quality start by a Dodger starter in their last 28 games.

Kemp's home run in the first inning came after he had five strikeouts in five career at-bats against Randy Wolf. The two-run shot matched the Dodgers' run output for their previous three games combined. In addition to Kemp, there were a couple of near-homers on a rainy night in Los Angeles. In the fourth inning, Rod Barajas hit a ball that would have been a home run on most nights at Dodger Stadium, but it fell into the glove of left fielder Ryan Braun on the warning track. Then, in the sixth inning, Prince Fielder crushed a ball to dead center field that somehow stayed in the park, caught on a nice play by Kemp, a leaping effort near the wall.

Braun also completely caught Kuroda off guard in the top of the sixth inning, stealing third base with two outs. Braun stole the base so easily, he didn't even draw a throw. In his stellar career, Braun has stolen third base 25 times and been caught just four times. He also made a nice defensive play in the bottom of the seventh, quickly fielding a single by Aaron Miles down the foul line in left field, then turning and throwing while off balance to easily erase Miles at second base.

In the seventh inning tonight, Kuroda was called for a balk, the first in 558 career innings for Kuroda. The umpire who made the call was none other than Bob Davidson, who has long had the nickname "Balking Bob" within baseball circles. Kuroda is the second Dodger starter to get called for his first career balk this year, joining Jon Garland, who was called for a balk on April 15 against St. Louis. If I were Chad Billingsley, with zero career balks in five years, I'd watch my back.

Matt Guerrier pitched the ninth inning for the Dodgers, picking up his first save as a Dodger. He is the fourth different Dodger to collect a save this season, and if he doesn't get another save this season that will make six straight years for Guerrier with exactly one save.

Vicente Padilla, who was named the closer with both Jonathan Broxton and Hong-Chih Kuo on the disabled list, did not even warm up tonight. Padilla had forearm stiffness, per Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. Padilla hadn't pitched since Friday night, though the Dodgers also haven't had a save situation during that time either. The Dodgers battle the Giants for two games beginning Wednesday night. Kershaw faced Matt Cain in the series opener tomorrow.

For more news and information on the Dodgers, or on tonight's game, be sure to read the SB Nation blog True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Vs. Brewers: Starting Lineups

The Dodgers look to snap their three-game losing streak tonight against old friend Randy Wolf and the Brewers. Wolf, who pitched for the Dodgers in 2007 and 2009, is one of four left-handed pitchers the Dodgers will face in the next six games. Hiroki Kuroda gets the start for the Dodgers, on five days rest after throwing 113 pitches in seven scoreless innings last Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

With the southpaw Wolf starting for Milwaukee, Jerry Sands gets the start in left field for the Dodgers, after being out of the lineup for two straight games. James Loney, hitting just .171/.167/.171 (6 singles and no walks in 35 at-bats, with a sacrifice fly) against left-handed pitchers this season, was dropped to seventh in the batting order for the first time this season, and the first time he has batted that low since September 18, 2009. Here are tonight's starting lineups, with the Brewers lineup courtesy of Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

Brewers (20-21)

Weeks 2B
Hart RF
Braun LF
Fielder 1B
McGehee 3B
Betancourt SS
Lucroy C
Gomez CF
Wolf P

Dodgers (19-23)

Carroll SS
Miles 2B
Ethier RF
Kemp CF
Uribe 3B
Barajas C
Loney 1B
Sands LF
Kuroda P

Tonight's 7:10 p.m. PDT game will be televised by KCAL. For more news and information on the Dodgers, or on tonight's game, be sure to read the SB Nation blog True Blue LA.

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Dodgers Look To Snap Three-Game Losing Streak, Host Brewers

The Dodgers seek to snap a three-game losing streak Tuesday night, facing the Brewers at Dodger Stadium. Hiroki Kuroda gets the start for L.A., while former Dodger Randy Wolf takes the mound for Milwaukee. The Dodgers, who lost 2-1 Monday night to Milwaukee, have scored just two runs in their last three games, and have scored only eight runs in their last five contests.

Kuroda will be pitching on five days rest, the beneficiary of Jon Garland moving up to pitch Monday just four days after his own start was rained out after two innings last week in Pittsburgh. Kuroda threw 113 pitches in his last outing, last Tuesday against the Pirates, in which Kuroda stuck out eight batters in seven scoreless innings. Kuroda is 4-3 this season with a 3.21 ERA.

Wolf, the former El Camino Real High graduate, pitched for the Dodgers in 2007 and 2009, before signing a three-year, $29.75 million deal with the Brewers before the 2010 season. Wolf is 3-3 with a 4.11 ERA so far this season, though he has allowed 11 runs and 19 hits in 8 1/3 innings over his last two starts, both losses for Milwaukee.

Wolf is one of four left-handed pitchers the Dodgers expect to face this week. The Dodger offense has been at least marginally better against southpaws this season, hitting .254/.321/.377, compared to .251/.312/.351 against right-handers. However, with the right-handed Marcus Thames on the disabled list with a right quad injury, the Dodgers lose an option to bolster their lineup. With Thames, he can play left field with the right-handed Jerry Sands at first base, but as it stands now Sands will likely play left field. James Loney, hitting .171/.167/.171 against southpaws this season and .256/.313/.369 in his career, will likely remain at first base, unless manager Don Mattingly decides to start rookie Russ Mitchell, who bats right-handed.

Tonight's 7:10 p.m. PDT game will be televised by KCAL. For more news and information on the Dodgers, or on tonight's game, be sure to read the SB Nation blog True Blue LA.

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