Dodgers-Blue Jays Preview
The Los Angeles Dodgers stopped the Toronto Blue Jays' winning streak with help from their ace, but they will have a rookie that's coming off his worst start on the mound for the series finale.
Ross Stripling will seek to bounce back from that effort Sunday while Toronto's Marco Estrada is hoping to see more support in his attempt to snap a personal winless stretch.
Clayton Kershaw yielded two runs in seven innings while striking out 10 to send the Blue Jays (16-16) to their first loss in five games Saturday, a 6-2 defeat. Adrian Gonzalez drove in two runs while Joc Pederson and Justin Turner homered in the Dodgers' third victory in 11 games.
Stripling (0-2, 4.33 ERA) was charged with five runs in 4 2/3 innings in a 5-2 loss to San Diego on April 30, failing to make it past the fifth for the second time in three starts. He was skipped in the rotation with the Dodgers getting two off days last week.
Stripling hasn't given up a run in the first two innings in any of his five MLB starts but has allowed a combined 11 runs after that point in his last three games. That likely indicates that batters are getting a good read on him after his first time through the lineup.
"They start adjusting, and I better adjust, too, or else it's going to be rough like this," Stripling told MLB's official website.
The right-hander can lead Los Angeles (15-15) to its first series win since April 22-24 in Colorado. The Dodgers have taken six of nine on the road.
Estrada (1-2, 2.64) will try to get the Blue Jays back on track with another strong outing. The right-hander yielded a leadoff home run, one other hit and one walk in six innings Tuesday, but he did not get a decision in a 3-1 win over Texas.
"He can run late in the game and give up very few hits. We saw that last year," manager John Gibbons said. "You go back to his last game against the White Sox (on April 27), he went into that seventh inning having given up only (one) hit. It's just what he does."
Estrada has received four runs of support during a four-game winless stretch and none in the past two games. His 1.76 run support average would rank as the AL's lowest if he had enough innings to qualify.
Estrada, who went to high school and college in the Los Angeles area, lost his only start against the Dodgers on Aug. 18, 2011, while with Milwaukee.
Chase Utley is 6 for 10 with three doubles and a home run versus the right-hander. Gonzalez, who has homered and doubled in two at-bats against him, is slated to serve as the Dodgers' designated hitter for Sunday's finale.
Utley or Turner might play first base with Gonzalez not on the field.
Former Los Angeles catcher Russell Martin is expected to return to the lineup after sitting out Saturday with Josh Thole serving as knuckleballer R.A. Dickey's personal battery mate. Martin is batting .177 but was 5 for 15 during the Blue Jays' four-game win streak.