The Los Angeles Dodgers had their six-game winning streak snapped by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the opener of a seven-game road trip. Los Angeles did, however, extend their streak of consecutive games with a home run to 14, which matches the Washington Nationals for most this season.
The Dodgers last homered in 15 straight games from June 7-22, 1970; their Los Angeles record is 17 consecutive games with a home run, set in 1960. To match the 1970 record, they’ll need to do so while relying on a lineup that features a bevy of right-handed batters.
Kiké Hernandez spells Chase Utley, while Trayce Thompson is in center field and Scott Van Slyke in left. Yasiel Puig makes a third consecutive start since being reinstated from the disabled list.
While Hernandez was a potent bat against left-handed pitching last season, he’s hitting just .218/.317/.491 with three doubles, four home runs and six RBIs in 63 plate appearances against southpaws in 2016; with the majority of his success coming earlier in the year.
Corey Seager, who with Adrian Gonzalez is the only left-handed starter, enters play riding an eight-game hitting streak. Seager matched a career high with four hits on Friday night. He’s batting .471/.500/.706 with five doubles, one home run and two RBIs over the eight-game stretch.
Kenta Maeda looks to continue with his string of strong outings, as he’s allowed two earned runs or less in each of his four June starts. What’s more, the right-hander has pitched into the sixth inning in all four outings, and completed at least 6.1 innings in three of the starts.
Maeda is 6-4 with a 2.64 ERA, 3.14 FIP and 1.10 WHIP this season. He’s been particularly effective on the road, going 4-0 with a 2.14 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in six starts. Maeda faces the Pirates for the first time in his young Major League career.
He’s opposed by southpaw Jeff Locke, who righted the ship after a pair of poor outings. Locke is coming off 6.2 scoreless innings against the San Francisco Giants, though is 6-5 with a 5.44 ERA and 1.43 WHIP this season.
Working in Locke’s favor is he’s pitching at PNC Park, where he’s 4-1 with a 3.26 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in six starts. The 28 year old is 1-3 with a 4.07 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 12 strikeouts over 24.1 innings pitched in five career games (four starts) against the Dodgers.
Locke allowed five runs (four earned) and had four strikeouts over 6.1 innings pitched in his lone start against the Dodgers last season, suffering the loss. Gonzalez is 2-for-9 lifetime when facing Locke, with three RBIs.
Seager is 1-for-3 with a two-run home run, while Justin Turner is 2-for-5 with one walk. Los Angeles has an extra player on their bench with Chris Taylor getting recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Nick Tepesch was designated for assignment.
2B: Kiké Hernandez
3B: Justin Turner
SS: Corey Seager
CF: Trayce Thompson
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
RF: Yasiel Puig
LF: Scott Van Slyke
C: A.J. Ellis
P: Kenta Maeda
1B: John Jaso
LF: Starling Marte
CF: Andrew McCutchen
3B: David Freese
RF: Matt Joyce
2B: Josh Harrison
SS: Jordy Mercer
C: Erik Kratz
P: Jeff Locke