Chris Capuano starts opener vs. Cardinals

Stephen Dunn

Friday is the first of 20 games in 20 days for the Dodgers, their longest stretch of the season without a day off and the longest streak allowed by the collective bargaining agreement. Their previous longest run of the season was nine games in nine days, done twice in 2013.

The Dodgers welcome the National League Central leading Cardinals to town beginning Friday night, looking for a small measure of revenge against a team that beat them out by two games for the final wild card spot in 2012.

St. Louis has been a sore spot for the Dodgers in recent years, as the Dodgers are 8-24 on the road against the Cardinals since 2004. But at Dodger Stadium the Dodgers are 16-16 against the Cardinals during that span, including 9-5 in the last three seasons.

From 2010-2012, the Cardinals have played a pair of three-game series and a pair of four-game series in Los Angeles. The Dodgers are 3-5 in the extended series but have swept both three-game series against St. Louis.

In each of Chris Capuano's last two starts he has pitched with five days rest, and the extra time has served him well. Capuano has allowed one run in each of his last two starts, with 12 strikeouts and one walk in 13⅔ innings. He gets the start Friday again with an extra day of rest in between starts.

Capuano is the second of four consecutive scheduled southpaw starters for the Dodgers, who already lead the majors with 26 starts by left-handed pitchers this season. Three left-handed starters against the Cardinals seems like a good idea in theory, as St. Louis is hitting just .223/.299/.339 against southpaws this year. But the Cardinals lineup is stacked with players with a good history against Capuano.

Matt Holliday is 10-for-27 (.370) with a double and two home runs against Capuano. Carlos Beltran is 4-for-10 (.400) with two doubles and four walks for a .571 on-base percentage. Allen Craig is 5-for-8 (625) with two doubles and a home run. David Freese is 4-for-7 (.571) with a walk. Matt Carpenter is 3-for-5 (.600) with a home run. Even catcher Yadier Molina, who is 4-for-18 (.222) against Capuano, has a home run, a double and two walks.

Lance Lynn is 6-1 with a 3.27 ERA this season and in his last 13 starts dating back to 2012 the right-hander is 10-1 with a 2.94 ERA, with 87 strikeouts and 30 walks in 79⅔ innings. He is 1-0 with a 3.75 ERA in two career starts against the Dodgers, both of which came in 2012 at Dodger Stadium.

Notes

  • Nick Punto is hitting .288/.377/.390 in May and his 16 games started this month are his most in any month since June 2010, when he hit .301/.396/.386 in 27 starts for the Twins.
  • For the series against the Cardinals, Dodger Stadium will sell on the loge and reserve levels a St. Louis BBQ dog, an all-beef dog topped with pulled pork and crispy onions.
  • Rapper Lil' Jon will throw out a ceremonial first pitch prior to Friday's game, and will also introduce the Dodgers starting lineup.
  • Adrian Gonzalez on Sunday night will take part in the pregame coin toss prior to the Galaxy hosting the Seattle Sounders FC at the Home Depot Center.

Game info

Time: 7:10 p.m.

TV: Prime Ticket

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