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Dodgers Face A Tough Foe In Wandy Rodriguez

(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Dodgers were able to snap a six-game slide with last night's win over the Houston Astros, but it may be too little too late for their playoff hopefuls.

The Dodgers, who are 10 games off the pace in the NL West, will try to take a series lead Saturday in the third portion of this four-game set at Minute Maid Park.

Jay Gibbons was the hero in Friday's 4-2 win in 11 innings after he belted a two-run homer in the top of the decisive frame. He also had an RBI single in the sixth inning for Los Angeles, which pounded out 12 hits and got six innings of one-run ball out of starter Hiroki Kuroda.

Kuroda did not record a decision and Octavio Dotel struck out three in the final two innings for the win. Rod Barajas finished with a trio of hits in a winning effort.

"It's hard, it's been a rough stretch for us, and momentum has definitely not gone our way," Gibbons said. "Our bullpen pitched great tonight and kept us in it, and fortunately we got the win."

LA is only 1-4 on a 10-game road trip.

Making his first start since July 10, LA rookie hurler John Ely gets the call Saturday. Ely has lost two straight and six of his previous nine starts before getting optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Ely lasted only 2 1/3 innings in a 7-3 loss to the Cubs on July 10, as he surrendered six runs and five hits to fall to 4-7 in 14 starts this season. The young right-hander defeated the Astros on May 17 with seven innings of two-run ball and eight strikeouts in a 6-2 triumph.

Houston had a three-game winning streak stopped on Friday, as Fernando Abad allowed Gibbons' home run in the 11th inning to absorb the loss. J.A. Happ started for the 'Stros and hurled five innings of one-run ball.

Michael Bourn had three hits and drove in both runs for the Astros, who got two hits from Brett Wallace and continue to play out the 2010 string.

"He is having really good quality at-bats, and that's sure nice to see," Astros manager Brad Mills said of Bourn. "Especially from a guy like that, your leadoff man. Get him on and a lot of things can happen."

Wandy Rodriguez draws the start tonight for Houston and he's 8-2 with a 1.91 earned run average over his past 14 trips to the mound. He is also 2-0 over the previous three assignments and did not record a decision in Monday's 5-4 road loss against the Chicago Cubs.

Rodriguez was lucky to avoid the loss column after he permitted four runs and eight hits in seven innings. It was his third consecutive outing with at least seven innings pitched. The Dominican lefty, who is 11-12 with a 3.77 ERA in 28 starts this season, lost to the Dodgers back on May 17 this season after he yielded four runs -- one earned -- in 6 2/3 innings of a 6-2 setback.

He is 3-3 in eight career games (7 starts) against Los Angeles.

The Dodgers swept a two-game series from the Astros back in May.