AUG 01, 2014 2:19a ET
Dan Haren faces a potential career-worst losing streak Friday night as the teams open a three-game series with his club hoping to extend its season-best win streak to seven.
Haren (8-8, 4.49 ERA) has already matched the worst stretch of his 12-year career with losses in four straight starts, compiling a 9.47 ERA in that span to raise his season mark nearly a run from 3.57.
Days off Monday and July 24 led the Dodgers to skip Haren's latest turn. He last pitched July 23 and allowed five runs in five innings of a 6-1 loss at Pittsburgh.
"It's really gotten away from me the last four times out," Haren said. "I was having a great year, I felt great throwing the ball, then a few starts ago it kind of snowballed and everything that could go wrong has gone wrong."
Three of his last four starts have come on the road, and a return home could help. The right-hander is 4-2 with a 3.40 ERA in nine starts at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers (62-47) have won nine of 10 against the Cubs (45-62) with 19 runs allowed and shutouts in three of the last five. Chicago has also dropped nine of 10 on the road, while Los Angeles has won a season-best five straight at home.
Should Haren falter, Los Angeles will have a rested bullpen to fall back on after another complete game from Clayton Kershaw in a 2-1 victory Thursday that moved it 3 1/2 games ahead of San Francisco in the NL West.
Offensively, the Dodgers took a step back with just five hits, but Yasiel Puig went 2 for 3 with a homer and is batting .462 on the winning streak. Adrian Gonzalez went 2 for 3 and is batting .417 over his last nine. Puig is 11 for 21 in six games against Chicago.
The Cubs head to Los Angeles having won three of four in a home series against Colorado after Thursday's 3-1 victory.
Pitching, though, has been the main vehicle lately for the Cubs, who have a 2.04 ERA over five games with the bullpen surrendering just two runs in 22 2-3 innings. That stretch started with Kyle Hendricks, who will open the series on the mound.
Hendricks (1-1, 2.33) suffered his first big league loss in Sunday's 1-0 contest against St. Louis. The rookie allowed a solo homer and a total of seven hits in 6 1-3 innings. It's the only run he's allowed in 13 1-3 over his last two starts.
Hendricks returns to Los Angeles, where he pitched at Dodger Stadium in high school.
"I'll prepare the same as always, watching a lot of video," he told MLB's official website. "So I pitched three innings (against the Dodgers) in a start in spring training and faced a lot of their starting lineup, at least for one at-bat. That will help a lot to watch that video, how I pitched them there. Not seeing them won't be a big deal now."