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Getting length from the Dodgers’ rotation

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Tampa Bay Rays v Los Angeles Dodgers
Bud Norris has a 1.65 ERA in three home starts since joining the Dodgers.
Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

The Dodgers head into Sunday’s series finale against the Diamondbacks finishing up not only a homestand, but also their last trip through the starting rotation before Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline.

Monday also is an off day for the Dodgers, which means at some point next week the four-man starting staff will become five, whether that addition comes from the minors or from outside the organization.

With Scott Kazmir pitching 6⅔ innings on Saturday, that marked the third time in four games that a Dodgers starter pitched into the seventh inning. That matches the total number in the previous 28 games, dating back to June 21.

The length was a welcome relief for not only the bullpen, but for a starting staff that, since Clayton Kershaw’s last start on June 26 has averaged just 5.28 innings per start while putting up a 4.35 ERA.

Buoyed by a bullpen that has put up a 3.01 ERA during Kershaw’s absence and an offense that has averaged 4.85 runs per game during that span, the Dodgers are 17-10 without their ace.

Trying to continue the recent Dodgers trend of starters pitching deep, Bud Norris takes the mound on Sunday against the Diamondbacks. Norris has pitched into the seventh inning four times in 15 starts this season, though his last start on Tuesday (6⅓ innings vs. Tampa Bay) was the first time he did so in five starts with the Dodgers.

Norris allowed four runs in five innings to the Diamondbacks in Phoenix on July 15, but picked up the win while striking out five with no walks.

Patrick Corbin was on the other end of that Norris start in Arizona, and took the loss while allowing seven runs in four innings. It was a rare win for the Dodgers against a left-hander, as the team is just 11-13 in games started by opposing southpaws in 2016.

Among National League teams, only the Reds (8-16) and Phillies (10-11) have fewer wins in games against lefty starting pitchers this season.

Corbin’s other two starts against the Dodgers this year were quality starts, with the two teams splitting those contests.

Game info

Time: 1:10 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA