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Los Angeles at Pittsburgh

Venue: PNC Park
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As good as Clayton Kershaw was in his last outing, he has now gone nearly a month without winning and still doesn't feel real comfortable.

The Los Angeles Dodgers ace hopes to avoid his longest winless drought in 3 1/2 years and continue his recent domination of the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday at PNC Park.

Kershaw (5-4, 1.88 ERA) is 0-2 with a 3.33 ERA in four starts since throwing a three-hitter to beat Milwaukee 3-1 on May 20. He hasn't endured a longer stretch without winning since going 0-3 in his final 11 starts of the 2009 season.

The former Cy Young Award winner was in line for a victory Monday after allowing one run and six hits over seven innings, but then-closer Brandon League yielded four runs in the ninth of a 5-4 loss to Arizona.

Though Kershaw's line was solid, he again didn't seem to be at his best.

"It was a battle out there," he said. "I didn't have great fastball command. I was 1-0, 2-0 basically the whole night. ... I'm glad I made it through seven."

Manager Don Mattingly pulled Kershaw after 99 pitches, his fewest since April 6.

"When he's really feeling good, he's kind of giving you that `I got it. I got it. I got it,'" said Mattingly, who returns after a one-game suspension for his role in Wednesday's two bench-clearing incidents with Arizona.

"He's just aggressive about it, and as soon as you start walking toward him, he's letting you know (he wants to continue). But (Monday) it wasn't like that."

Kershaw's teammates haven't offered much support, averaging 3.0 runs in his last eight starts as he's gone 2-2 with a 1.99 ERA.

The left-hander hasn't needed much help when facing the Pirates over the past three years, going 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA in three starts with one walk and 24 strikeouts. Kershaw defeated the Pirates on April 6, allowing two hits and striking out nine in seven innings of a 1-0 win.

Starling Marte had both hits off Kershaw, but he's missed the last two games with a rib injury and it's unclear if he will play this weekend.

Pittsburgh (40-27) did fine without him Friday, beating Los Angeles (28-38) for the first time in four tries this season with a 3-0 victory. Andrew McCutchen had a two-run double and is 11 for 22 with five RBIs in the last six games for the Pirates, who have won five of seven.

With A.J. Burnett recently going on the disabled list, the Pirates will give Brandon Cumpton his major league debut. The 24-year-old right-hander began the season at Double-A Altoona, then was 4-4 with a 3.31 ERA in 11 appearances - 10 starts - for Triple-A Indianapolis.

"(Cumpton is) a three-pitch guy, a strike-thrower to both sides of the plate. He's a competitor," manager Clint Hurdle told the Pirates' official website.

It remains to be seen if Cumpton is the long-term replacement for Burnett, out indefinitely with a torn right calf.

"No need to get ahead of ourselves," Hurdle said. "We'll give him the ball and see where he can take it. We'll take it one start at a time."

Fellow rookie Yasiel Puig had two of the Dodgers' six hits Friday during their fifth loss in six games. The standout outfielder is batting .487 with four homers and 10 RBIs in 11 games since making his big league debut June 3, but Puig has only one extra-base hit in his last six contests.

Los Angeles has dropped 12 of 15 on the road.

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

Clayton Kershaw, LHP
2013 stats
100.1 Innings Pitched 0.0
5-4 Wins-Losses 0-0
1.88 Earned Run Average ---
28 Walks 0
96 Strikeouts 0
108 Pitches Per Start 0.0
Career vs. opponent
42.0 Innings Pitched -
2-1 Wins-Losses ---
2.57 Earned Run Average -

Brandon Cumpton, HP
Weather
weather image  Mostly sunny. Mild.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
78°F54°F7mph/W37%23%
Standings
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Los Angeles1st NL West5343.552-5-5 W 1
Pittsburgh4th NL Central4945.5212 ½ 5-5 W 1
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Brandon Cumpton
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Cruz000000
Ellis000000
Ellis000000
Ethier000000
Federowicz000000
 
BATTER VS. PITCHER (Career)
vs Clayton Kershaw
PlayerABHHRBBSOAVG
Snider110001.000
Presley31001.333
Sanchez103122.300
McCutchen175102.294
Marte72004.286
 

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Injuries
Los Angeles
PlayerInjury
E. ArruebarrenaHip
J. BeckettHip
C. BillingsleyElbow
S. ElbertElbow, Foot
C. FigginsQuadriceps
O. GarciaElbow
H. RamirezShoulder
J. TurnerHamstring
C. WithrowElbow
Pittsburgh
PlayerInjury
C. BarmesGroin
G. ColeLat
F. LirianoOblique
 
Series Game Log
DateatResult/TimeWinnerLoser
Apr 14CINPPD   
Apr 15CINPIT 8-7Morris LeCure 
Apr 15CINCIN 7-5Leake Cole 
Apr 16CINCIN 4-0Cueto Liriano 
Apr 21PITPIT 6-5Hughes Hoover 
Apr 22PITCIN 4-1Cueto Volquez 
Apr 23PITCIN 5-2Simon Morton 
Apr 24PITCIN 2-1Cingrani Cumpton 
Jun 17PITCIN 6-5Ondrusek Grilli 
Jun 18PITCIN 11-4Simon Volquez 
Jun 19PITPIT 4-3Wilson Cingrani 
Jul 11CINCIN 6-5Partch Watson 
Jul 12CINPIT 6-5Wilson Hoover 
Jul 13CIN 1:10 PM EDT  
Aug 29PIT 7:05 PM EDT  
Aug 30PIT 7:05 PM EDT  
Aug 31PIT 1:35 PM EDT  
Sep 26CIN 7:10 PM EDT  
Sep 27CIN 4:10 PM EDT  
Sep 28CIN 1:10 PM EDT