LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers will welcome the wild-card-leading Pirates to town for a weekend series at Dodger Stadium, looking to return the favor of the Bucs' three-game sweep in Pittsburgh from Aug. 7-9. The Pirates will be without infielder Jung Ho Kang, reportedly out for the season after injuring his knee in a takeout slide at second base on Thursday.
Here are the pitching matchups for the three games in Los Angeles.
Friday, 7:10 p.m. PT (SportsNet LA)
Zack Greinke recovered from August, his worst month of the season that saw him allow 10 runs in five starts and a .325 slugging percentage against him. In September, Greinke has allowed four runs in three starts, with opposing batters hitting .192/.222/.295. He didn't face the Pirates in Pittsburgh last month.
Jeff Locke has walked two or fewer in each of his last six starts, and has allowed no home runs in three September starts after allowing six hoe runs in five starts in August to go with his 5.46 ERA for the month.
Saturday, 6:10 p.m. (SportsNet LA, MLB Network)
Clayton Kershaw allowed four runs in six innings in a no-decision in Pittsburgh on Aug. 7. That start stands out because it's the only one of Kershaw's last 14 starts that saw him allow more than one earned run. During that 14-start span, the left-hander has a 1.00 ERA, with 133 strikeouts and 13 walks in 108 innings.
Beginning with his Aug. 8 start against the Dodgers that saw him allow four runs in three innings, Francisco Liriano has allowed at least three runs in six of his last eight starts, putting up a 5.09 ERA during that span. Liriano also homered that day against LA, the first extra-base hit of his career. He was 3-for-40 (.075) on the season and 13-for-149 (.087) with no extra-base hit while batting in his career before the home run. But beginning with that Aug. 8 start, Liriano is 5-for-17 (.294) with two doubles, that home run and five RBI.
Liriano will be the fourth consecutive left-handed starting pitcher to face the Dodgers.
Sunday, 1:10 p.m. (SportsNet LA)
The Dodgers haven't announced Sunday's starter yet, but Brett Anderson is in line to start in the series finale. With a 66.5-percent ground ball rate and likely three starts remaining in the season, Anderson has the third-highest ground ball rate of any season tracked by FanGraphs, behind only a pair of seasons by Derek Lowe, topping out at 67 percent in 2006 with the Dodgers.
Former UCLA star Gerrit Cole has allowed just one home run in his last nine starts, with 225 batters faced during that span. That period included a no-decision against the Dodgers on Aug. 7, when he allowed three runs in six innings. Cole's 22 quality starts rank fifth in the National League.