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Dodgers in search of hits, maybe runs

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers will try to do something, anything against Scott Kazmir and the Astros on Saturday night, looking to snap a three-game losing streak with one common theme.

The Dodgers have three hits total against the opposing starting pitcher in the last three games, including getting no-hit by lighting expert Mike Fiers in Friday's series opener.

In the last three games, the Dodgers got no more than two hits off the opposing starter. The only other time that happened in the last 102 seasons was in 2009, against the Padres and Rockies from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3, but even that comes with a caveat as Jorge De La Rosa, the third starter in that group, lasted all of three innings in that start.

The Dodgers clinched the division that night, by the way.

If anything, the Dodgers can at least rely on their two aces starting on the mound in the final two games of the series, with Zack Greinke going on Saturday.

But this season, Clayton Kershaw and Greinke have started consecutive games 21 times, and the Dodgers have won both games just six times. They have split the two games 14 times, and lost both once.

In other words, now would be good time for the offense to get back in gear.

Yasiel Puig is back after missing two games with right hamstring tightness, and playing in right field. He's batting second, the first time Puig has been this high in the batting order since hitting leadoff on July 8.

Against the left-handed Kazmir, the Dodgers have Kiké Hernandez making his ninth start in center field, plus Scott Van Slyke in left field and Alex Guerrero at designated hitter.

Switch-hitting catcher Yasmani Grandal gets just his fifth start against a left-handed pitcher this season, which might normally suggest A.J. Ellis starting with Kershaw pitching on Sunday's day game after a night game, but with Monday's day off, the third off day in eight days, that might not be the case.

Maybe the key will be getting Kazmir out of the game as early as possible. The Dodgers this week are 3-for-72 (.042) with a home run, a double, 12 walks and 24 strikeouts against starting pitchers, but are 6-for-20 (.300) with a home run, three walks and a strikeout.

Game info

Time: 4:10 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA