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Dodgers, Cubs meet again amid slow climbs

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MLB: Miami Marlins at Los Angeles Dodgers Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers and Cubs meet for a second and final time in the regular season in 2017, with both teams looking for more offense than in their first matchup.

Back in April, the Cubs took two of three against the Dodgers, one win for each ceremony they had during the series, and outscored them 7-4 in a low-scoring affair.

Both have rebounded after sluggish starts. The Dodgers were 14-13 after losing on May 1, but since then are 14-7, averaging 5.86 runs per game.

The Cubs were under .500 as late as May 14 (18-19), but have won seven of nine since, outscoring opponents 59-39 during that span. Their last nine games have been at Wrigley Field, but now the Cubs start a road trip, having lost their last three series away from home.

Jake Arrieta, whose one-hitter at Aug. 30, 2015 at Dodger Stadium was the first of his two career no-hitters, has struggled so far this season, with a 4.80 ERA and 3.92 FIP in nine starts. Opposing batters are hitting .281/.333/.468 against Arrieta this season, including .301/.360/.500 in his six road starts.

Left-handers are hitting .288/.370/.513 against Arrieta in 2017.

Kris Bryant is hitting .296/.412/.648 with seven home runs in May, with Ben Zobrist (.323/.389/.554, seven extra-base hits) and Javier Baez (.310/.324/.606, six HR) also hot this month.

Both the Dodgers and Cubs have seen extraordinary debuts from rookies. Cody Bellinger is hitting .283/.342/.604 with nine home runs in 28 games for the Dodgers, while switch-hitting outfielder Ian Happ is hitting .297/.409/.622 with two home runs, four doubles, and a triple in 11 games for Chicago.

Alex Wood enters Friday having thrown three consecutive scoreless starts, and has an active scoreless streak of 20⅓ innings, with 29 strikeouts and four walks during that span.

The last Dodgers pitcher with four straight scoreless starts was Clayton Kershaw, from July 8 to Aug. 1, 2015.

Game info

Time: 7:10 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA, MLB Network