After two weeks at home, the Dodgers head out for a brief road trip, making their first trip to Minnesota in five years to battle the Twins. Chad Billingsley gets the start for the Dodgers, while Nick Blackburn toes the rubber for the Twins. This is the Dodgers' first trip to Target Field.
Billingsley is 6-6 with a 4.48 ERA this season in 16 starts. However, wearing the road grays this season Billingsley has a 6.49 ERA in eight starts, striking out 7.1 batters per nine innings, compared to a 2.81 ERA and 9.1 strikeouts per nine in eight starts at Dodger Stadium. In 13 career starts in interleague play, Billingsley is 5-4 with a 4.53 ERA.
Minnesota has lost five straight games after a 15-2 stretch. Blackburn is 6-5 with a 3.15 ERA in 15 starts this season. In his last 10 starts he is 5-1 with a 2.35 ERA, with eight quality starts.
With the designated hitter in play for six games this week, the Dodgers are expected to have Marcus Thames start at least a few games at the position. Thames injured his left calf on Friday and cannot play the field right now, but is still available to bat. Manager Don Mattingly also said that Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp are likely to serve at least one game as designated hitter, to get them each a day off while keeping their bats in the lineup.
Tonight's 5:10 p.m. PDT game will be televised by Prime Ticket. For more news and information on the Dodgers, or on tonight's game, be sure to read the SB Nation blog True Blue LA.