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Dodgers turn to Clayton Kershaw to play stopper

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Ace pitches for a 6th time following a Dodgers loss in 2017

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers try to salvage a game out of this series in San Francisco, and will send Clayton Kershaw to the mound on Wednesday afternoon at AT&T Park.

After scoring just two runs in 13⅔ innings against Giants starting pitchers in the first two games of the series, the Dodgers have to face Johnny Cueto in the series finale.

Giants starting pitchers this season against the Dodgers have a 3.21 ERA in nine games, which includes Matt Moore allowing nine runs on May 2 at Dodger Stadium. At AT&T Park, the Giants starters have a 1.91 ERA against the Dodgers in six games.

The Dodgers are hitting just .210/.287/.287 against the Giants this season, including .202/.277/.278 in six games in San Francisco.

This is the sixth time in eight opportunities that Kershaw is pitching following a Dodgers loss this season. He is 4-1 in those starts with a 2.55 ERA, 35 strikeouts and four walks in 35⅔ innings.

Left-handed batters are hitting .289/.304/.600 this season off Kershaw, with three home runs in 46 plate appearances. Last season, Kershaw allowed no home runs in 141 plate appearances to lefties.

Kershaw has also allowed two triples and a double to lefty batters this season. The six extra-base hits are more than he allowed to lefties in both 2014 and 2016.

The lefties to collect an extra-base hit against Kershaw this season:

Apr. 3: Ryan Schimpf homered at Dodger Stadium
Apr. 8: Charlie Blackmon tripled at Coors Field
Apr. 8: Gerardo Parra homered at Coors Field
May 6: Schmipf homered at Petco Park
May 12: Carlos Gonzalez homered at Coors Field
May 12: Blackmon tripled at Coors Field

Left-handed batters have a .376 wOBA against Kershaw in the early going in 2017, but based on batted-ball data at Statcast, the expected wOBA is just .284.

Kershaw hasn’t allowed an extra-base hit to a Giants left-handed batter since Brandon Belt doubled on June 26, 2012. Since then, San Francisco lefties are 17-for-142 against Kershaw with 57 strikeouts, six walks and a hit by pitch, hitting .120/.161/.120.

Belt and fellow lefty Denard Span are expected to get days off on Wednesday for the Giants, by design.

The Dodgers have lost their last three games, matching their longest skid of the season, also done Apr. 16-18. They have also not been swept yet this season. They lost the first two games in Denver Apr. 7-8, and lost the first two games Apr. 21-22 in Phoenix, but salvaged the final game of both of those series.

Game info

Time: 12:45 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA, MLB Network