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Dodgers go for 8th straight series win in finale with Pirates

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"Hey, a left-handed pitcher isn't starting today!"
"Hey, a left-handed pitcher isn't starting today!"
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers go for an eighth straight series win on Sunday afternoon, but will have to face ace Gerrit Cole of the Pirates in the finale at Dodger Stadium.

The former No. 1 overall pick and UCLA star has allowed just one home run in his last nine starts, since the beginning of August. The right-hander has a perfectly fine 3.46 ERA during that span, with 53 strikeouts and 14 walks in 54⅔ innings. But he's 2-4 during that span, because baseball can be cruel sometimes, but also because the Pirates have scored three or fewer runs five times in his starts during that span.

Pittsburgh has only scored 13 runs while Cole was in the game in his last nine starts.

The Dodgers scored three runs against Cole in six innings on Aug. 7, a game ultimately won by the Pirates in 10 innings. It was one of 22 quality starts for Cole this season, tied for fifth in the National League.

Cole on the season has 183 strikeouts in 187 innings, honing in on a milestone. In Pirates franchise history, which dates back to 1882, there have only been six 200-strikeout seasons - four by Bob Veale (1964-66, 1969), then Oliver Perez (2004) and A.J. Burnett (2013).

Men of steal

The Dodgers have stolen 16 bases in 17 games in September, leading the majors in steals, with five times caught stealing.

Cole has allowed 24 steals this season, tied for fifth-most in the National League, with runners caught nine times. The Dodgers stole two bases in Cole's start in Pittsburgh on Aug. 7, one against Cole and one against Joakim Soria.

The Dodgers have stolen eight bases in 10 attempts in five games against the Pirates this season. The only team against whom the Dodgers have stolen more bases in 2015 is the San Diego Padres, with 11 steals in 17 attempts, but in 16 games.

Game info

Time: 1:10 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA