The Dodgers go for a seventh straight win on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series against the Cubs at Dodger Stadium. Dan Haren gets the call in the opener, hoping to turn around a streak of his own.
Haren has lost his last four starts, allowing 20 runs in 19 innings in July, including five home runs.
It is part of a downward slide that has lasted over two months. He has allowed a home run in 13 of his last 14 starts, with 19 total home runs allowed during that span to go with a 5.49 ERA. He was skipped his last time through the rotation, giving him extra rest after the All-Star break.
But if there is any upside for Haren, starting Friday on eight days rest, his strikeout rate of 24.7 percent in July was his best month of career, after just 14.0 percent combined in May and June.
Not too many Cubs have much of a history against Haren. Chris Coghlan is 4-for-16 (.250) with a double against Haren, old friend Justin Ruggiano is 2-for-8 (.250), and Junior Lake is 1-for-3 (.333) with a double. Ryan Sweeney is 1-for-9 (.111) and Nate Schierholtz is 1-for-6 (.150) with four strikeouts.
The Dodgers are 5-1-1 in their last seven series against the Cubs at Dodger Stadium, going 16-8 in those games, dating back to 2007.
Chicago just finished a 5-5 homestand, but hasn't played a road contest since July 20. It's probably a good thing for them though, as they have lost nine of their last 10 road games, outscored 59-29 in those games.
The Dodgers are 15-5 in their last 20 games at Dodger Stadium, outscoring opponents 76-49.
Kyle Hendricks gets the start for the Cubs, his fourth major league start and first in Southern California for the Mission Viejo native. Hendricks has allowed one run in his last two starts.
In 17 starts with Triple-A Iowa this season Hendricks, 24, was10-5 with a 3.59 ERA with 97 strikeouts and 23 walks in 102⅔ innings.
Justin Turner starts at third base in place of Juan Uribe in the opener. A.J. Ellis, whose knee was swollen after Thursday's win, is back in the lineup at catcher.
Time: 7:10 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA, WGN