MLB

Diamondbacks-Dodgers Preview

Howie Kendrick has looked good in his return from injury. Facing the Arizona Diamondbacks may keep him rolling.

With Kendrick swinging a hot bat, the Dodgers go for a ninth straight home win over the Diamondbacks in the conclusion of this three-game series Wednesday night.

Kendrick was out of the lineup for four games with a left knee strain, but he's 5 for 8 with a homer and four RBIs in two since returning to second base.

He's a .341 hitter in 11 meetings with Arizona, going 8 for 16 in the past four matchups this year.

Kendrick homered and had a go-ahead two-run single in the seventh inning of Tuesday's 3-1 win as the Dodgers (34-25) beat the Diamondbacks (27-31) for the 12th time in 13 tries at home.

"You want to get the job done in that situation," said Kendrick, who is settling into the cleanup spot in his first season with Los Angeles after hitting fourth just 52 times previously. "It doesn't matter where I hit. I don't change my approach for where I'm hitting. To be able to come through and give us a victory is awesome. Our biggest thing is just to try to win the series."

Brett Anderson (2-4, 3.29 ERA) takes the mound looking for some help from Kendrick and his teammates. The left-hander has a 3.00 ERA over his last four starts, but has lost all three decisions since he's been backed by three total runs.

He was charged with a 2-1 loss to St. Louis on Friday, when he tossed seven spotless innings before allowing two runs and leaving with two outs in the eighth.

"I'm just giving us a chance with quality starts," Anderson said.

Anderson is 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in three starts against Arizona since the start of last season, going six innings before Yasmani Grandal hit a homer in the 13th of a 1-0 home win May 3.

Grandal is 9 for 24 with two homers and two doubles in seven games against the Diamondbacks this year.

Arizona has dropped six of eight on the road with its starters posting a 7.02 ERA, but it should feel somewhat confident handing the ball to Jeremy Hellickson (4-3, 4.88).

The right-hander is trying to tie a career high with a fourth straight winning start, and he's posted a 3.38 ERA in this latest stretch. Hellickson yielded two runs with six strikeouts in six innings of a 7-2 win over the New York Mets on Friday.

"Command's definitely been a big part of it," Hellickson said. "I'm just not making as many mistakes with the fastball as I was earlier in the year."

Hellickson has allowed seven runs and 13 hits in 8 1-3 innings over two career starts against the Dodgers - both on the road. He gave up three runs and fanned six before being pulled with one out in the sixth of a 6-4 loss May 2.

He's held Kendrick to two hits in 12 at-bats. Adrian Gonzalez is 4 for 22 off Hellickson, but two of those hits were homers along with a triple and a double.

Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt is hitting .353 with seven homers and 17 RBIs in his last 13 meetings with Los Angeles, but he's only managed to go 1 for 6 in the last two. He's 4 for 8 with a homer off Anderson.

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