Major League Baseball

D-backs look to move above .500 mark vs. Dodgers

mlb13DIAMONDBACKS (43-43) AT DODGERS (57-29)
10:10 p.m. ET; SNLA, FS-A, MLB.TV

When the Los Angeles Dodgers (-1.5) return home Tuesday night to face the Arizona Diamondbacks (+1.5), they will look to move past the sting of a just-completed 3-4 road trip.

While a nearly break-even record during a pair of away series is just fine by most standards, the Dodgers had been aspiring to something bigger. It was the first time they had a sub-.500 trip since early April.

Now they get the Diamondbacks on their own turf for a brief two-game series, a week after Arizona won two of three games in the desert. The Dodgers went 2-2 at Colorado over the weekend but concluded the trip on a positive by defeating the Rockies 10-5 on Sunday.

“For us to come out of (Colorado) with a split and not lose ground to those guys who gave it all they had is a good thing for us,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The victory also concluded an 18-day stretch without a day off for the Dodgers that started with a series victory over the Chicago Cubs (-1.5) before a two-week run against National League West rivals. The Dodgers were an impressive 12-6 over the stretch.

Dodgers right-hander Ross Stripling (3-2, 3.08 ERA) will open the homestand on the mound, getting his second start since left-hander Rich Hill went on the disabled list with a strained flexor tendon in his left forearm.

Stripling also started against the Diamondbacks on June 25, giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits over three innings. He threw 60 pitches in his first start since April 25.

Stripling is 1-4 with a 3.73 ERA against the Diamondbacks in his career over 21 appearances, six of which have been starts.

Arizona will head into the series with some confidence after their home series against the Dodgers. The Diamondbacks (43-43) also will enter looking to distance themselves from the .500 mark.

The Diamondbacks were four games over .500 on June 15, before a six-game losing streak. The series against the Dodgers got them back to .500, and they are coming off a four-game split against the Giants at San Francisco.

The added significance to taking two of three from the Dodgers last week was that it bucked the trend of struggles against division opponents. Arizona is just 16-27 against teams from the NL West this season.

“It’s a little bit frustrating within our division, because I know we’re a better team than we’ve shown,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said, according to mlb.com. “I know it is not up to my standards.”

Arizona will open the series with right-hander Taylor Clarke (2-3, 6.10 ERA) on the mound.

The rookie already has made two of his eight career starts against the Dodgers, both in June (1-1, 3.60 ERA). He gave up three runs (two earned) on four hits over five innings on June 4 in a game the Diamondbacks lost 9-0. He then gave up two runs on three hits over five innings on Wednesday in a game Arizona won 8-2.

Tuesday’s outing will be his sixth start on the road and his first ever at Dodger Stadium.

–Field Level Media

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