Dodgers-Angels Preview

Clayton Kershaw wasn’t exactly pleased with himself after he

outdueled Jered Weaver last weekend, but the Los Angeles Angels

were impressed by what they saw.

Kershaw will try to become the first Los Angeles Dodgers starter

to throw three straight complete games in 11 years when they

continue this Freeway Series in Anaheim on Saturday night.

Kershaw (8-3, 2.93 ERA) pitched a six-hitter Sunday in Los

Angeles as the Dodgers (37-46) salvaged the finale of last

weekend’s series with a 3-2 victory. Weaver (9-4, 1.97), though,

was in line for his 10th win until the Dodgers scored twice in the

ninth off Jordan Walden, including a game-winning single by Tony

Gwynn Jr.

Although he did not walk a batter and struck out 11 for the

second straight start, Kershaw saw room for improvement.

“I got a lot of leadoff guys on base, which makes it easy to

score runs,” Kershaw said. “I’ve got to work on that.”

The left-hander has not lost since April 26, going 6-0 with a

2.64 ERA in his last 11 outings. The Angels (42-41) were in awe of

his outing.

“Incredible effort by Kershaw to hold us down as well as Weav

was holding them down,” manager Mike Scioscia told the Angels’

official website.

Kershaw improved to 2-1 with a 2.60 ERA in four starts against

the Angels. He’s bidding to become the first Dodgers starter to

throw three straight complete games since Kevin Brown from June

5-15, 2000.

“It’s definitely something I take pride in, to go deep in a

game,” Kershaw told the Dodgers’ official website. “It’s big.”

Walden’s poor work out of the bullpen, meanwhile, resulted in no

decision for Weaver, who yielded one run over seven innings and has

surrendered two over his last 23. Weaver is 4-2 with a 2.89 ERA in

eight starts against the Dodgers, going 2-1 with a 5.19 ERA in

three in Anaheim.

“If you can’t get up for a game like this, you don’t belong

here,” said Weaver about last week’s duel.

Gwynn had three hits Sunday, and has reached base safely in his

last eight plate appearances against the Angels. He’s a major

reason the Dodgers have won the last two meetings after the Angels

took the first two.

The leadoff hitter went 3 for 3 with three walks in Friday’s 5-0

victory that snapped the Angels’ three-game win streak. Aaron Miles

was 4 for 4 and Hiroki Kuroda yielded three hits over seven

innings.

Kuroda also hit the Angels’ Torii Hunter in the first inning,

forcing the right fielder out of the game after the second with a

contusion on top of Hunter’s left hand. X-rays were negative on

Hunter, who missed last weekend’s series with bruised ribs.

Mark Trumbo was hit by Kuroda in the seventh, causing warnings

to be issued to both teams.

“You’d like to give guys the benefit of the doubt, but he almost

hit Mark with his first pitch. He got out of the way of it, and

Mark was way off the plate,” Scioscia said. “The second time, it

was a laser right at him. So I think the intent was obvious

there.”

Asked about hitting two batters, Kuroda replied, “They’re all

accidents.”