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Los Angeles at Pittsburgh

Venue: PNC Park

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 image  Mostly sunny. Mild.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Los Angeles1st NL West7760.562-6-4 W 1
Pittsburgh3rd NL Central7165.52227-3 L 1
vs Brandon Cumpton
vs Clayton Kershaw
Marte72004.286 Shop

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Los Angeles
E. ArruebarrenaHip
J. BeckettHip, groin
C. BillingsleyElbow
C. FigginsQuadriceps
O. GarciaElbow
P. MaholmKnee
C. PerezAnkle
P. RodriguezShoulder
C. WithrowElbow
P. AlvarezFoot
C. MortonHernia
T. SniderHamstring
Series Game Log
Apr 4PITPIT 12-2Cole Miller 
Apr 5PITSTL 6-1Kelly Liriano 
Apr 6PITPIT 2-1Watson Wainwright 
Apr 25STLSTL 1-0Miller Cole 
Apr 26STLPIT 6-1Pimentel Lyons 
Apr 27STLSTL 7-0Wainwright Volquez 
May 9PITPIT 6-4Wilson Martinez 
May 10PITPIT 4-3Hughes Lynn 
May 11PITSTL 6-5Miller Morton 
Jul 7STLSTL 2-0Neshek Wilson 
Jul 8STLSTL 5-4Rosenthal Frieri 
Jul 9STLSTL 5-2Lynn Cumpton 
Jul 10STLPIT 9-1Volquez Miller 
Aug 25PITSTL 3-2Lackey Hughes 
Aug 26PITPIT 5-2Watson Maness 
Aug 27PITPIT 3-1Locke Wainwright 
Sep 1STL 2:15 PM EDT  
Sep 2STL 8:15 PM EDT  
Sep 3STL 1:45 PM EDT