The Los Angeles Dodgers look for better showing this weekend after opening their nine-game homestand with a series sweep at the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Dodgers welcome the Chicago Cubs to Dodger Stadium for a three-game series.
The Dodgers lost two of three to the Cubs in May, but look to capture the opener on Friday night with Chad Billingsley on the mound. Billingsley has allowed just one run in his two starts since returning from the disabled list and on Friday looks for his third straight win.
In four July starts Billingsley had 19 strikeouts and just one walk, and a 2.84 ERA. He allowed four runs in six innings in a loss to the Cubs on May 4 at Wrigley Field.
The two newest Dodgers on offense, Hanley Ramirez and Shane Victorino, have yet to experience success in front of their new home fans. Ramirez, who hit .333 with a home run, a triple, a double, and seven RBI in his first six games as a Dodger, all on the road, went 0-for-10 in the three games against the Diamondbacks. Shane Victorino arrived on Wednesday and just played one game with the Dodgers, but went 0-for-4 in the series finale.
Even after getting swept, the Dodgers are just a half game behind the San Francisco Giants in the National League West. Manager Don Mattingly said the Dodgers don't have time to worry about those losses to Arizona.
|2012 Dodgers vs. Cubs|
|May 4:||Chicago 5, LA 4|
|May 5:||LA 5, Chicago 1|
|May 6:||Chicago 4, LA 3|
"Guys in this business, they turn the page. You have to turn the page and move on," Mattingly said. "You really aren't allowed the time to mourn losses, so you have to put it behind you."
Jeff Samardzija gets the start in the opener for the Cubs, looking to carry over his July success into August. He allowed seven runs in five starts, with a 2-1 record and a 1.91 ERA, with 36 strikeouts and 13 walks in 33 innings.
The Cubs enter the weekend on a losing streak of their own, having dropped two straight games. Chicago is 16-36 on the road this season, and Friday is the start of a six-game road trip that will also take them to San Diego. While the Dodgers added four players to their active roster at the trading deadline, the Cubs lost the trio of pitcher Ryan Dempster, catcher Geovany Soto, and outfielder Reed Johnson via trades.
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo was called up from Triple A on June 26, and in 30 games with Chicago has hit .316/.360/.556 with eight home runs and 20 RBI in 30 games.
Matt Kemp has a five-game hitting streak and his game on Wednesday was the only game of the five that he didn't have multiple hits. Kemp is hitting .545 (12-for-22) during the hitting streak and is hitting .350/.373/.538 with 11 RBI in 18 games since returning from the disabled list.
The Dodgers began the season 21-5 at home but are just 8-18 in their last 26 games at Dodger Stadium.