Streaking D-backs look to hold down slumping Dodgers (Sep 06, 2017)

BY AP • September 7, 2017

LOS ANGELES -- In a matchup that mirrors the direction of their teams, the Los Angeles Dodgers' Kenta Maeda will look to get back on track Wednesday, while the Arizona Diamondbacks' Taijuan Walker just wants to continue the flow.

The Diamondbacks will attempt to break their franchise record with a 13th consecutive win. They tied the mark with a 3-1, 10-inning victory over Los Angeles on Tuesday.

The Dodgers, meanwhile, have dropped 10 their past 11 games, with five of those defeats coming at the hands of the Diamondbacks. Their five-game losing streak is tied for their worst this year. The other five-game skid ended Friday in San Diego.

Los Angeles will attempt to avert a three-game sweep Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.

Maeda, in the midst of an up-and-down season, will take the mound trying to put a rough start behind him. Maeda (12-6, 4.19 ERA) gave up a season-high seven runs on eight hits in just three innings Thursday against the Diamondbacks, and he will have to face the same red-hot team again.

Walker did not start for the Diamondbacks last week when the club hosted the Dodgers. In his last three starts, going back to Aug. 21, Walker is 2-0 with a 0.54 ERA and has 17 strikeouts and five walks in 16 2/3 innings.

Walker did struggle with his control somewhat during his most recent start Friday at Colorado, walking three, but he still managed to strike out 10 while throwing five scoreless innings.

"We were just going out there and being aggressive with the fastball again, getting ahead," Walker said. "Getting strike one and strike two. My pitch count got up there a little bit, a couple walks in that first inning which I didn't like. But just stayed aggressive, kept attacking them."

Walker is 1-0 with a 4.22 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers this season. The Southern California native, from Yucaipa, has faced Los Angeles just three times in his career, going 1-1 with a 6.14 ERA in 14 2/3 innings.

The Dodgers were in the midst of a four-game losing streak when Maeda took the mound at Arizona last week. However, instead of correcting his team's fortunes, Maeda struggled, and Los Angeles wound up getting swept in a series for the first time all year. If he doesn't bounce back, the Diamondbacks could do it to the Dodgers again.

"A lot of mislocated pitches and they took advantage of all of them," Maeda said through an interpreter. "My sliders didn't break as much as I'd hoped. I was trying to stop the losing streak, but unfortunately it didn't work out that way. I didn't execute and I didn't perform."

Maeda is 0-2 with a 9.53 ERA in four starts against the Diamondbacks this season. He is 3-3 in 10 career starts against Arizona, posting a 5.19 ERA.

If the Dodgers can even get a lead Wednesday, it would be something of an achievement. The Diamondbacks haven't trailed in their past 98 innings, tied with the 1946 Brooklyn Dodgers for the third-longest such streak all time. Only the 2002 Oakland Athletics (102 innings) and the 1942 New York Yankees (101 innings) produced longer streaks.

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