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Pirates-Dodgers Preview

The Los Angeles Dodgers haven't lost three straight at home to the Pittsburgh Pirates in nearly 14 years. But thanks to an offensive slump, they're on the brink of doing just that.

Los Angeles will also try to avoid its first four-game skid of the season in the third of this four-game series Saturday night.

The Dodgers (29-27) have tallied six runs during a three-game slide after scoring as many in their last victory, 6-3 over Cincinnati on Tuesday. Andre Ethier is 2 for 11 in that stretch while Matt Kemp is hitless in 18 at-bats over his last six games.

The team was 2 for 15 with seven strikeouts with runners in scoring position in Friday's 2-1 loss to the Pirates and is 5 for 32 in those situations over the last three.

Pittsburgh (25-29) has won seven of 10 after recording consecutive victories at Dodger Stadium for the first time since April 22, 2007, and April 14, 2008. The Pirates haven't won three straight there since taking five in a row July 18, 2000-April 24, 2001.

Five Pirates have driven in at least four runs in the 7-3 stretch, including Neil Walker, who recorded his team-leading 29th RBI on Friday and is batting .356 during an 11-game hitting streak.

However, the Pirates figure to have their work cut out against Hyun-jin Ryu (5-2, 3.10 ERA), who seemed to put his home struggles to rest when he flirted with a perfect game his last time out.

Ryu was 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in three home starts before limiting Cincinnati to three runs and three hits over 7 1-3 innings of a 4-3 victory Monday. He retired the first 21 batters he faced.

The left-hander's 7.08 home ERA is still the highest among NL pitchers with at least four home starts.

Brandon Cumpton (0-1, 3.38) gets the nod for Pittsburgh. He limited the Mets to an earned run over six innings of a 5-3 road victory Monday after being recalled from Triple-A in place of Wandy Rodriguez, who had been designated for assignment.

This marks the seventh time since the start of last season Cumpton's been recalled from the minors. He's yet to remain on the big league roster for more than two consecutive starts, but could be on his way to doing so with another impressive outing.

"We believe he's at the top of the list of guys who have earned this opportunity," manager Clint Hurdle told the team's official website. "He's been given spot starts. Time for him to go ahead and get an opportunity that's got some legs to it."

Cumpton made his first career start against the Dodgers, receiving a no-decision after allowing three runs over five innings of a 5-3 defeat June 15. Ethier was 2 for 3 against him.

With Francisco Liriano on the hill Friday for the Pirates, manager Don Mattingly chose to keep Adrian Gonzalez out of his starting lineup, as he's batting .177 against left-handers. Gonzalez grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning and is 4 for 30 over his last nine games.

"He'll get on a run and throw up numbers," Mattingly told the team's official website. "I think Adrian is fine. When he's tired, you've got to recognize it and give him a day."

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