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The Battle of Charlie Hough, Act I

The Dodgers and Rangers face each other in Dallas for the first time in nine years tonight, as they battle for the allegiance of Charlie Hough.

Hough, a fixture in the Dodger bullpen throughout the 1970s, was sold to the Rangers in 1980, and ended up a starting pitcher, knuckling his way through American League hitters for a decade. Hough is the Rangers' all-time leader in wins (and losses), innings, starts, complete games, and strikeouts.

In the 12 previous years of interleague play, Dodger designated hitters have hit .232/.317/.329, with only four home runs -- by Chad Kreuter, MIke Kinkade, Olmedo Saenz, and Luis Gonzalez.

The Dodgers' next 15 games are against American League opponents. Their next game against a National League foe is Monday, June 29 at home against Colorado.

Hiroki Kuroda makes his first road start since opening day, hoping to reestablish his control. Kuroda walked three or more batters only five times in 31 starts last year, none after June 12. He has walked three batters in each of his first two starts since returning from the disabled list, throwing a strike only 58% of the time. Kuroda threw a strike with 64% of his pitches in 2008, and 70% of the time on opening day in San Diego.

2009 - Hiroki Kuroda 1-1 1.62 0.96 13 7

Vicente Padilla, who was placed on waivers last week after hitting Mark Teixeira twice in the same game, has his doubters in the Ranger organization:

The Rangers have learned to deal with Padilla’s knack for hitting opposing hitters, sources said, but some wonder about his competitive nature. Padilla has terrific stuff, but he doesn’t always show the same tenacity other pitchers display when things don’t go well.

Padilla has allowed 21 runs in 28 home innings this year, for a 6.75 ERA.

2009 - Vicente Padilla 4-3 5.22 1.48 31 28

In Dodger family news, Jonathan Broxton had an eventful off day, with the birth of his first son. Also, from the Dodger game notes:

General Manager Ned Colletti is starting a tradition this weekend, inviting the fathers of Dodger players and staff members along for the trip with the team. Joining the club for the three-game set are Byron Ethier, Marcus Hudson, Marion Loney, Russell Martin Sr., James Pierre, Jay Schlichting, Takeo Akasaki (father of Team Travel Manager Scott Akasaki) and Steve English (father of Video Coordinator Nick English).

Tonight's lineup:

Pierre LF
Hudson 2B
Ethier RF
Blake 3B
Loney 1B
Loretta DH
Kemp CF
Martin C
Furcal SS

Kuroda P

Get your guesses in for ""She Is Gone" here.

Box Score | Baseball Reference Preview | Gameday