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Mat Latos back to mound as Dodgers go for 5th straight win

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers go for a fifth straight win on Saturday night against the Cubs, sending Mat Latos to the mound after getting skipped twice through the rotation.

Latos will be pitching on 15 days rest, though he did pitch a simulated game on Monday at the Dodgers' complex at Camelback Ranch in Arizona.

So far, Latos' Dodgers tenure has been disappointing, but we are only talking about three starts. He failed to get out of the fifth inning in either of the last two outings, allowing 11 runs on 14 hits in 8⅔ innings.

At the very least, the one encouraging sign of Latos' final start before getting briefly exiled was that the right-hander struck out seven of 22 batters on Aug. 13 against the Reds, after fanning only one of his first 42 batters faced as a Dodger.

Latos' strikeout rate this season is 20 percent, down slightly from his career rate of 21.7 percent. Since returning from a knee injury on June 13 his strikeout rate is 20.9 percent, including seven starts with the Marlins and three with the Dodgers.

The Dodgers reached the magical four-run mark in Friday's series opening win, improving to 54-10 (.844) when scoring at least four runs this season.

Latos this season has received four or more runs of support in just eight of his 19 starts this season between Miami and Los Angeles, and his teams are 4-4 in those starts, including 1-1 with the Dodgers.

The Dodgers will try to score against Jon Lester, who amazingly hasn't started on the road since July 13. Lester has allowed one total run in his last three road starts, though he has made six starts at Wrigley Field since his last road outing.

Game info

TIme: 6:10 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA