The Los Angeles Dodgers are fresh off of a weekend sweep in New York and look for their fifth straight win on Monday as they open a four-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. In the series opener the Dodgers will send Chad Billingsley to the mound, fresh off the disabled list.
Billingsley was scheduled to start on July 15 at home against San Diego but was scratched with elbow soreness. Two MRI exams revealed right elbow inflammation but nothing more and he was placed on the disabled list last Tuesday. With the All-Star break, Billingsley last pitched on July 7 so he only missed one start.
He threw a bullpen session Friday in New York.
Now back on the hill, Billingsley will look to snap a career-worst streak. Billingsley has lost each of his last five starts, the first time in his career he has done so, with a 6.21 ERA. As a silver lining though, Billingsley has 13 strikeouts and no walks in his last two starts.
Joe Kelly, a rookie from UC Riverside, will make his eighth start of the season for the Cardinals, who are coming off a sweep of their own, at home against the Cubs. Kelly is 1-2 with a 3.75 ERA so far on the season.
Matt Kemp has excelled since returning from the disabled list, hitting .378/.410/.622 with two home runs in eight games. On the season Kemp leads the Dodgers with 14 home runs despite missing 51 games with a pair of hamstring strains.
|2012 Dodgers vs. Cardinals|
|May 18: LA 6, St. Louis 5|
|May 19: LA 6, St. Louis 0|
|May 20: LA 6, St. Louis 5|
Kemp has a five-game hitting streak, including four consecutive games with two hits.
Matt Holliday is hitting .390/.464/.695 with six doubles, four home runs, and 15 RBI in 17 games in July, while teammate David Freese is hitting .434/.559/.566 with 13 walks during the month.
These two teams met in May in July, with the Dodgers beating the Cards all three times for a three-game sweep. The Dodgers have won seven straight games against the Cardinals dating back to last year, their longest winning streak against the Redbirds since winning eight straight from July 24, 1975 to May 12, 1976.
The Dodgers lead their all-time series against the Cardinals 1,005 to 1,001.