The Dodgers look for their fifth straight win on Friday night but to do so they will have to buck a disturbing trend. Despite the relative strengths of the Dodgers and Seattle Mariners, the fact remains that this weekend will be played at Safeco Field, which happens to be an American League ballpark.
Which has meant hell for the Dodgers, in recent years.
The Dodgers lost all three of their interleague series on the road last season, and lost both interleague series on the road in 2010. In fact, the Dodgers have lost each of their last six series in American League stadiums, and they have dropped 16 of their last 19 interleague series on the road.
Dating back to 2005, the Dodgers are 14-43 (.246) in interleague road games. It hasn't been just the Angels delivering the beatings, either. The Dodgers are 6-15 (.286) since 2005 in Anaheim, but 8-28 (.222) in other AL parks.
During that same span, the Dodgers are 25-29 (.463) against American League parks at home.
But maybe the Dodgers will get that fifth straight win on Friday night. Last season, the Dodgers won the series opener in Chicago, in Minnesota, and in Anaheim. But in each case, they proceeded to lose the final two games of the series.
This is the Dodgers' first trip to Seattle since July 7-9, 2000. In their last game at Safeco Field, a 2-0 loss to the Mariners, the winning pitcher was then 37-year old Jamie Moyer, who was making his 305th career start in the series finale. Moyer has started 333 games since.
What do Chad Kreuter, Mike Kinkade, Olmedo Saenz, Luis Gonzalez, Russell Martin, Manny Ramirez, and Matt Kemp have in common? Aside from never being in Cliff Clavin's kitchen, this septet of players are the Dodgers to hit a home run as a designated hitter, in their 121 total games in American League parks since interleague play began in 1997.
The seven home runs by Dodgers designated hitters are the fewest in the National League during interleague play. The Expos/Nationals are next to last with nine home runs, while the New York Mets have the most DH home runs, with 25.
The greatest designated hitter of all-time, Edgar Martinez, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Friday's game.
Tonight's Pitching Matchup
Nathan Eovaldi makes his third start of the season Friday night, looking for his first win. He has allowed five total runs in his two starts but the Dodgers have scored three runs, and the result has been a pair of one-run losses for Eovaldi.
Kevin Millwood ended his May by allowing two runs in 27 innings over his last four starts, but he allowed four runs and 13 baserunners in four innings in a loss last Sunday to the Chicago White Sox. Millwood allowed at least five runs in each of his first three home starts but in his last Safeco Field outing, on May 23, he pitched six scoreless innings. The result is a 7.08 ERA in four home starts, with nine walks and nine strikeouts in 20 1/3 innings.
The Dodgers are among the "most aggressive" teams in pursuit of 20-year old power packed Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, per Buster Olney of ESPN. The Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, and Atlanta Braves are also highly interested per Olney, who says the next round of bids are due this weekend.
Game Time: 7:10 p.m.
TV: Prime Ticket