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Scott Kazmir in familiar territory as Dodgers open interleague play at Tampa Bay

Doug Benc/Getty Images

Just like the last time the Dodgers played the Rays on the road, Scott Kazmir will start a game in the series. The veteran left-hander starts the opener of a quickie two-game set on Tuesday evening at Tropicana Field.

The last time the Dodgers played here, Kazmir was a young Devil Ray, on his way to leading the American League with 239 strikeouts in 2007. The Dodgers and Rays met from June 22-24, 2007, with Kazmir starting the middle game for Tampa Bay.

He got a no-decision in his quality start, allowing three runs in six innings with five walks and five strikeouts.

Back to the present, Kazmir has been steadily improving since his pair of four-inning clunkers against the Giants. He allowed four runs in five innings in Coors Field, then tossed a quality start at home against the Marlins, allowing two runs in six innings while striking out a season-high six.

This is just the third time back in St. Petersburg for Kazmir since the Rays traded him in 2009. He is 1-1 with a 2.53 ERA as a visitor at Tropicana Field, winning in 2010 with the Angels and losing in 2015 with the Athletics.

Kazmir in his career at Tropicana Field is 27-18 with a 3.64 ERA in 73 starts, with 468 strikeouts and 189 walks in 429⅔ innings. The southpaw ranks third all-time in the stadium's history in starts, wins, innings and strikeouts, behind James Shields and David Price in each category.

American League woes

The Dodgers have played nearly a full season's worth of regular season games in American League parks, going 62-98 (.388) in road games since interleague play began in 1997. That included 2-8 against the AL West in 2015.

At home in interleague play the Dodgers have fared much better, going 86-68 (.558).

That split has held in the limited times the Dodgers have played Tampa Bay as well, going 2-4 at Tropicana Field — dropping two of three games in both 2002 and 2007 — and sweeping a three-game series in 2013 in the Rays' only visit to Dodger Stadium.

On the mound

Tuesday marks Matt Moore 's first career start against the Dodgers. So far this season the Tampa Bay lefty is holding hitters to just .217/.271/.333 with a 27.1-percent strikeout rate.

This is the fifth time in six starts in 2016 that Moore will pitch at home, where he has a 3.20 ERA to go with 30 strikeouts and five walks in 25⅓ innings in 2016.

The Dodgers have outscored opponents 21-8 in the first inning this season, behind only the Nationals and Red Sox in opening-frame tallies in 2016. But so far this season, Moore hasn't allowed a single run in the first inning, holding batters to just 1-for-16 with five strikeouts this season.

Game info

Time: 4:10 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA