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Dodgers open Freeway Series with Angels

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Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers open up a series against the Angels and close out the month of July with their best on the mound. Clayton Kershaw looks to close out one of the best months of his career.

Kershaw takes a 29-inning scoreless streak into Friday night's game, and has 45 strikeouts since his last walk.

In four July starts, Kershaw is 3-0 with 45 strikeouts in 33 innings, and has allowed one run and two walks.

Since 1914, there has only been one other pitcher with at least 40 strikeouts in a single month while allowing four or fewer runs and four or fewer walks. That was Kershaw in June 2014, his no-hitter month that saw him go 6-0 with 61 strikeouts in 44 innings, with four walks and four runs allowed.

Kershaw has 38 strikeouts and no walks in his last three starts, with at least 11 strikeouts in each outing. The Dodgers franchise record for consecutive double-digit strikeout starts is four, last achieved by Hideo Nomo in 1995. The only other Dodgers pitcher to accomplish this was Sandy Koufax, with five such streaks, two in 1962 and three in 1965.

Hector Santiago gets the start for the Angels, one of three left-handed starters for the Halos this weekend, joining old friend Andrew Heaney on Saturday and C.J. Wilson on Sunday.

Santiago has been quite effective this season with a 2.43 ERA and 112 strikeouts in 118⅓ innings. He allowed four runs in his last start, but that matched his runs allowed in his previous five starts combined.

Santiago has also allowed 14 home runs this season and has a 3.84 FIP. His spread between his FIP and ERA has been the most beneficial among 94 qualified starters in baseball in 2015. Zack Greinke (1.37 ERA, 2.63 FIP) is third.

The Dodgers won three of four games against the Angels in 2014, the first time since 2006 the Dodgers won the season series against the Halos. The Angels have essentially owned the Freeway Series in the 18 years of interleague play, but most of the damage has been done in Anaheim. The Dodgers are just 18-32 on the road against the Angels, but 25-25 at Dodger Stadium.

With the Dodgers facing the American League West in interleague play this season, there are six games against the natural rival Angels instead of the usual four. The clubs meet again from September 7-9 in Anaheim.

Game info

Time: 7:10 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA, Fox Sports West