LOS ANGELES -- The number four looms large but attainable for the Dodgers and starter Clayton Kershaw against the Reds on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers go for their fourth series sweep of the season on Wednesday, which if achieved would give the Dodgers their fourth straight win for the first time all year.
Dodgers starting pitchers in the last three games have pitched a no-hitter, taken a perfect game into the eighth inning, and struck out 11 in a 7⅔-inning outing. If Kershaw can pitch deep into Wednesday's game, that would give the Dodgers four straight starts of seven or more innings for the first time since Aug. 13-16, 2011 (Kershaw, Hiroki Kuroda, Ted Lilly and Chad Billingsley).
Doing so for Kershaw, who has lasted at least seven innings in 27 of his 38 starts since the beginning of 2013, would go a long way in getting him his fourth win of the season.
Kershaw has made four of his first five starts this season on the road. Wednesday will mark his 98th career home start, surpassing Hideo Nomo for 10th-most career starts at Dodger Stadium.
The left-hander is 42-23 with a 2.22 ERA in his career at home, with 672 strikeouts and 202 walks in 640 innings.
Jay Bruce is 5-for-14 (.357) with two home runs against Kershaw, with both dingers coming last Sept. 8 in Cincinnati. Bruce is one of just five left-handed hitters with at least two home runs against Kershaw. Second baseman Brandon Phillips is 8-for-22 (.364) with a double against Kershaw, Ryan Ludwick is 3-for-17 (.176) with a home run, and old friend Skip Schumaker is 0-for-7 with six strikeouts.
Homer Bailey gets the call for the Reds, looking for his fifth quality start in his last six outings. Bailey is 4-3 with a 5.34 ERA in 10 starts this year, including 2-2 with a 4.01 ERA in four starts at Dodger Stadium with 18 strikeouts and six walks in 24⅔ innings.
Four Dodgers have more than seven plate appearances against Bailey in their careers. Adrian Gonzalez is on one extreme end, at 10-for-21 (.476) with five home runs and two doubles against Bailey, while Andre Ethier is on the other end, 0-for-18 with three walks and six strikeouts. Hanley Ramirez, who returned to the starting lineup Tuesday, is 5-for-18 (.278) with two home runs against Bailey, while Matt Kemp, hoping to return to the lineup Wednesday, is 4-for-14 (.286) with a home run.
Time: 7:10 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA