Preview: Clayton Kershaw Again In Position To End Dodgers’ Losing Streak
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen faltered once again, as Joe Blanton gave up a three-run homer to Kevin Pillar in the eighth inning on Friday that proved to be the difference for the Toronto Blue Jays. Relief may be in order for the Dodgers, as Clayton Kershaw takes the mound.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner faces the Blue Jays for the first time in his career. Kershaw again finds himself in position to end another losing streak, though the Dodgers’ current two-game skid doesn’t have the same dire feeling their previous six-game losing streak did.

Kershaw is coming off a complete-game shutout effort with 14 strikeouts against the San Diego Padres. On the season, Kershaw is 3-1 with a 1.96 ERA, 1.82 WHIP and 0.72 WHIP in six starts.

He’s notched double-digit strikeouts in each of his past three starts. Kershaw is 1-0 with a 1.17 ERA and 0.78 WHIP in three road outings this season. He’s totaled 24 strikeouts to just three walks in 23 innings pitched over that span.

Toronto counters with R.A. Dickey, whose breakout season in 2012 came with some controversy as Dickey, not Kershaw, was named the Cy Young winner that year. Kershaw has otherwise won the award in 2011, 2013 and 2014.

Dickey is 1-3 this season with a 5.73 ERA, 4.39 FIP and 1.61 WHIP in six starts. He’s 0-2 in three starts at home, with a 6.75 ERA and 1.62 WHIP. Three of the four home runs Dickey has allowed this season have been hit at Rogers Centre.

Dickey is 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in four career games (three starts) against the Dodgers, though he last faced them in 2012. Chase Utley is a lifetime 5-for-16 when facing Dickey, with two doubles and one RBI.

Troy Tulowitzki has the most extensive experience against Kershaw among batters on the Blue Jays roster. Tulowitzki is a lifetime .270/.319/.444 batter off the Dodgers’ ace, with two doubles, three home runs, eight RBIs, five walks and 15 strikeouts in 69 plate appearances. Darwin Barney is 2-for-9 against Kershaw, and Russell Martin 0-for-5.

The Dodgers enter play on Saturday a woeful 2-8 in their last 10 games. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays are on a four-game winning streak — their longest of the season.

Dodgers lineup:

2B: Chase Utley
SS: Corey Seager
3B: Justin Turner
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
RF: Yasiel Puig
LF: Howie Kendrick
CF: Joc Pederson
DH: Carl Crawford
C: A.J. Ellis

Blue Jays lineup:

CF: Kevin Pillar
3B: Josh Donaldson
RF: Jose Bautista
DH: Edwin Encarnacion
1B: Justin Smoak
SS: Troy Tulowitzki
LF: Michael Saunders
2B: Darwin Barney
C: Josh Thole