Preview: Scott Kazmir, Dodgers With Opportunity To Keep Success Rolling Against Diamondbacks
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After picking up a full game in the standings, the Los Angeles Dodgers look to keep pace with the San Francisco Giants, who on Saturday afternoon defeated the Washington Nationals at AT&T Park. The Giants’ victory pushed their lead in the National League West division to 1.5 games.

Los Angeles is just 7-5 since the All-Star break, with two losses coming to the Arizona Diamondbacks, but have managed to pick up 5.5 games on the Giants over that span. A win on Saturday night ensures the Dodgers will remain unbeaten in their last eight home series against Arizona (7-0-1).

Scott Kazmir looks to remain unbeaten since May 9 in what’s been a season filled with some lumps along the way. Kazmir is 7-0 with a 3.73 ERA in his last 13 starts, despite often being snakebit in the first inning.

Overall this season, Kazmir is 9-3 with a 4.35 ERA, 4.28 FIP and 1.27 WHIP in 20 starts. He owns an 8.10 ERA in the first inning and opponents are batting .333/.423/.467 with six doubles and two home runs in the opening frame.

The 32-year-old has yet to face the Diamondbacks this season. Meanwhile, Arizona sends Braden Shipley to the mound in just his second career Major League start. Shipley allowed six runs on eight hits in 5.1 innings pitched against the Milwaukee Brewers in his debut, suffering the loss.

The right-hander went 8-5 with a 3.70 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and averaged 5.8 strikeouts per nine innings over 19 starts with Triple-A Reno this season. He faces a Dodgers lineup that looks much of the same from recent games, which means Yasiel Puig is again out due to right hamstring tightness.

Puig appeared as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning on Friday night and remained in the game in right field. He last started July 20 against the Nationals, and as of now is expected to start in Sunday’s finale.

Andrew Toles, who starts in right field for the sixth time of his career, is batting .324/.395/.412 in 14 games with the Dodgers.

Dodgers lineup:

2B: Chase Utley
SS: Corey Seager
3B: Justin Turner
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
LF: Howie Kendrick
C: Yasmani Grandal
RF: Andrew Toles
CF: Joc Pederson
P: Scott Kazmir

Diamondbacks lineup:

SS: Jean Segura
2B: Brandon Drury
1B: Paul Goldschmidt
LF: Rickie Weeks Jr.
C: Welington Castillo
RF: Yasmany Tomas
3B: Jake Lamb
CF: Chris Owings
P: Braden Shipley