Dodgers' Wood hopes to emulate Kershaw vs. D-backs (Jul 05, 2017)

BY AP • July 5, 2017

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers left-hander Alex Wood has been the ideal complement to Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw, and Wood will try to follow in the veteran's footsteps again Wednesday when he starts against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium.

Kershaw didn't allow an earned run for a third consecutive start Tuesday as the Dodgers won the series opener 4-3, moving first-place Los Angeles 3 1/2 games ahead of second-place Arizona in the NL West.

Wood enters his Wednesday outing with a 9-0 record and a 1.83 ERA in 73 2/3 innings. He has limited opposing batters to a .178 average and has struck out 87 against 20 walks.

Wood faced the Diamondbacks on April 21 and had one of his poorest outings of the season, allowing seven hits and four runs in 4 2/3 innings. However, he did not receive a decision in Los Angeles' 13-5 loss in Arizona. He has not thrown fewer than five innings in his 10 starts since.

In 10 career appearances against Arizona, including six starts, Wood is 3-3 with a 3.60 ERA. He threw 3 1/3 scoreless, hitless innings for a win in a relief appearance against Arizona on April 15.

Wood will be opposed by Arizona right-hander Zack Godley (3-2, 2.67 ERA).

Godley, a 6-foot-3, 240-pounder, has gone seven innings and allowed three runs in each of his past two starts.

He is 0-0 with a 2.45 ERA in five career appearances, including one start, against the Dodgers. All five appearances came last year.

The Diamondbacks (52-32) will look to Daniel Descalso to continue his hot hitting. He hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth Tuesday to prevent the shutout. Descalso is 16-for-47 (.340) with three doubles, two triples and 11 RBIs over the past 12 games.

"We have something to build on," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said of the ninth-inning rally.

Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock will try to increase his comfort level after coming off the disabled list Tuesday. He had been sidelined due to a groin strain. Pollock had an eight-pitch at-bat against Kershaw to start the game, ending with a flyout, and he hit a ground-rule double in his final at-bat to finish 1-for-4 in his first game since May 14.

Lovullo said he checked with Pollock late in the game to see how he felt.

"I said, 'Look, there's a chance we might score four runs and go into extra innings. Can you continue playing all the way through?'" Lovullo said. "He said he felt great, so that's a good sign."

The Dodgers (56-29) have won 21 of their past 25 games and own a major-league-best 34-11 home record, including 13-1 in the past 14 games at Dodger Stadium.

They own a plus-154 run differential, which would tie the 1976 Cincinnati Reds for second best among NL teams heading into the All-Star break.

Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner entered play Tuesday leading in the NL Final Vote for the All-Star Game next week in Miami, and he came through with a single, a homer and two RBIs in the series-opening win.

"The goal is to play well every night and do things to try and help your team win," said Turner, who upped his batting average to .384 but is still a few at-bats short of qualifying for the NL lead held by the Washington Nationals' Daniel Murphy (.341).

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