Pittsburgh at Los Angeles

Venue: Dodger Stadium
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The Los Angeles Dodgers have had little trouble limiting the Pittsburgh Pirates' anemic attack in the first two games of this series.

Perhaps there's a chance Pittsburgh will break out in the finale after enjoying past success against Chris Capuano.

No NL team has a higher batting average against Capuano than the Pirates, who are searching for any sign of offense as they try to avoid a 14th loss in 16 games at Dodger Stadium on Thursday night.

Los Angeles (5-1) has limited Pittsburgh (2-3) to two runs and 11 hits in this series, but that shouldn't be surprising. The Pirates are the only MLB team yet to crack double digits with nine runs.

After Clayton Kershaw pitched seven sharp innings in Tuesday's 2-1 victory and Chad Billingsley went six strong in Wednesday's 4-1 win, the Dodgers are probably wondering what to expect when Capuano makes his home debut with the club.

Capuano was far from impressive in his Dodgers debut Saturday, giving up four runs while issuing five walks over 4 2-3 innings as he failed to protect a five-run lead in a 6-5, 11-inning victory at San Diego. The left-hander walked three in the fifth before he was pulled by manager Don Mattingly.

"Well, you know, obviously you can't do a whole lot when you're not throwing strikes," Mattingly said.

The Pirates are familiar with Capuano from his NL Central days with Milwaukee, batting .299 against him. Capuano is 4-7 with a 6.09 ERA in 15 career starts versus Pittsburgh.

Neil Walker and newcomer Clint Barmes have the most experience against Capuano, with each going 2 for 10.

While those .200 averages don't seem impressive, both players would likely sign up for them now compared to their current microscopic ones. Walker, who batted cleanup Wednesday, is hitting .059 while Barmes finally got his first hit with a homer off Billingsley and is now at .067.

"You want to show right away that you are worthy and you're here for all the right reasons," said manager Clint Hurdle about Barmes. "Right now he's trying to show everybody that he belongs."

Barmes' homer was the Pirates' second of the season, tying them with Boston, Philadelphia and the Angels for the fewest in the majors. Their five walks and .228 on-base percentage are also MLB's worst marks, and the Dodgers haven't issued a walk in this series.

Pittsburgh can only be envious when looking across the diamond at Matt Kemp, who went 3 for 4 on Wednesday for his fourth multihit effort to raise his average to .400. Juan Rivera added three hits and two RBIs for the Dodgers, seeking their first 6-1 start since 1981.

"Having Rivera there going back-and-forth in that four and five spot gives us the best look every day and adds a little more thump in big RBI situations," right fielder Andre Ethier said.

Jeff Karstens starts for Pittsburgh after turning in a solid season debut Saturday by giving up one run over six innings in a 2-1, 10-inning victory over Philadelphia.

The right-hander is 0-2 with a 4.82 ERA in four career starts against the Dodgers, but he's limited Kemp to a double in six at-bats.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Probable Starters

Jeff Karstens, RHP
2012 stats
6.0 Innings Pitched 4.2
0-0 Wins-Losses 0-0
1.50 Earned Run Average 7.71
1 Walks 5
2 Strikeouts 4
0.0 Pitches Per Start 0.0
Career vs. opponent
19.0 Innings Pitched 82.2
0-2 Wins-Losses 4-7
5.21 Earned Run Average 5.99

Chris Capuano, LHP
Weather
weather image  Sprinkles late. Increasing cloudiness. Cool.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
61°F47°F7mph/S51%38%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Pittsburgh2nd NL Central8874.54326-4 L 2
Los Angeles1st NL West9468.580-8-2 W 5
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Chris Capuano
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
McCutchen64022.667
Alvarez52010.400
Correia41001.250
Tabata92100.222
McLouth51100.200
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Jeff Karstens
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Billingsley110001.000
Treanor21000.500
Ethier114101.364
Kennedy31000.333
Loney93011.333
 

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Injuries
Pittsburgh
PlayerInjury
P. AlvarezFoot
C. MortonHernia
C. StewartWrist
Los Angeles
PlayerInjury
J. BeckettHip, groin
C. BillingsleyElbow
S. FifeElbow
O. GarciaElbow
P. MaholmKnee
C. WithrowElbow
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 6LAD 4:10 PM EDT  
Apr 7LAD10:10 PM EDT  
Apr 8LAD10:10 PM EDT  
Apr 24SD   
Apr 25SD   
Apr 26SD   
May 22LAD10:10 PM EDT  
May 23LAD 9:10 PM EDT  
May 24LAD   
Jun 12SD   
Jun 13SD   
Jun 14SD   
Sep 3SD   
Sep 4SD   
Sep 5SD   
Sep 6SD   
Oct 2LAD10:10 PM EDT  
Oct 3LAD   
Oct 4LAD