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Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers go for split with Giants

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Andre Ethier starts for the first time in four days, in left field.

H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers go for a series split against the Giants on Sunday afternoon, with a pitching matchup that figures to be stingy with the free passes.

Clayton Kershaw has 16 strikeouts and one walk in his two starts, tops in baseball with his strikeout-to-walk ratio. Tim Hudson is third, and first among pitchers with enough innings to qualify, with 36 strikeouts and three walks for the Giants.

Hudson has been fantastic so far, with a 1.99 ERA in seven starts. He has allowed just three home runs and his 58.9% ground ball rate is the fourth-highest in baseball among qualified starters. Hudson, baseball's active win leader with 209 career victories, is 6-4 with a 3.49 ERA in 14 career starts against the Dodgers.

But he has faced Los Angeles just once since the start of 2012. Hudson allowed one run in seven innings last June 6 at Dodger Stadium, but lost.

Andre Ethier gets the start in left field on Sunday, despite hitting just 4-for-23 (.174/.208/.391) with three doubles and a triple against Hudson. Carl Crawford is 4-for-13 (.308/.400/.462) with a triple against Hudson, but Ethier hasn't started since Wednesday in Washington D.C. so he gets the start.

"It's a delicate balance, to keep Dre in the mix. We talked yesterday about going a number of days without playing. Carl's been good, but Dre's been working," said manager Don Mattingly. "As much as anything, it's keeping him in the mix and not really feeling it's one way or another with the matchup."

Notes

Juan Uribe was feeling better on Sunday morning, and planned to test out his strained right hamstring by running before Sunday's game. There is a chance Uribe would be able to pinch hit in Sunday's game, but there is also a possibility he will need to be placed on the disabled list.

"Everyone is feeling better that hopefully he'll stay away from the disabled list, but until we get out here and do some running and try to get to full speed we won't know," Mattingly said.

A.J. Ellis is catching and batting fifth for Triple-A Albuquerque on Sunday. He will catch again with the Isotopes on Monday, then the Dodgers will make a decision on when to activate him from the disabled list. Mattingly said it was unlikely that the club would carry three catchers.

Hyun-jin Ryu pitched off flat ground on Sunday morning, and will throw off a mound on Tuesday, the first time since being placed on the disabled list with left shoulder inflammation.