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Kuroda, Dodgers Hope Spoiling Comes Easier At Home

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Hiroki Kuroda is 7 1/3 innings away from tying his career high in inning pitched.
Hiroki Kuroda is 7 1/3 innings away from tying his career high in inning pitched.

On the road, the Dodgers weren't exactly spoilers, getting swept in San Diego and losing two of three to the hated Giants. Perhaps at home, they will fare better as spoiler against the Rockies, who begin the weekend series two and a half games out of first place.

For the offense, all you need to know is this:

Home Runs In September
Troy Tulowitzki

Ubaldo Jimenez has faced the Dodgers twice this season and only given up four runs in 14 innings, yet has two losses. It appears two of his final three or four starts will be against the Dodgers, so they will have a chance to try to keep him under 20 wins. Jimenez is 18-6, but had 14 wins by the end of June.

Speaking of four more starts left, Hiroki Kuroda is sitting on 176 innings pitched this year, with a goal of getting to 200. His MLB high was 183 1/3 innings in 2008, so a long outing tonight would give Kuroda a new career high in innings. Since the All-Star break, Kuroda has a 2.57 ERA, and 60 strikeouts against just 11 unintentional walks in 73 2/3 innings, averaging 6.70 innings per start.

Russ Mitchell, who homered yesterday for his first major league hit, became the first Dodger since 1920 to start a game at first base, third base, and the outfield in his first major league season. Both Mike Marshall, in 1981, and Joel Guzman, in 2006, played those three positions but did not start at all three. The "first season" distinction makes it unique. Paul Konerko started 18 games at first, eight games at third, and nine games in the outfield for the Dodgers in his rookie season of 1998, but technically his first season was 1997, in which he played all of six games.

Game Time:  7:10 p.m.

TV:  Prime Ticket

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