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National League Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, August 18th (All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Dodgers (72-50) at Philadelphia Phillies (53-69), 1:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Los Angeles - Ricky Nolasco (9-9, 3.62) Philadelphia - Cole Hamels (5-13, 3.65)
(Sports Network) - There doesn't appear to be an end in sight for the white hot Los Angeles Dodgers, who look to put another sweep in their pocket Sunday against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
The Dodgers have won the first two portions of this three-game set in south Philly and extended their season-high winning streak to 10 games with Saturday's 5-0 victory behind ace Clayton Kershaw. The left-hander dazzled through eight innings, allowing just three hits with eight K's and a walk.
Brandon League took over for Kershaw in the ninth and took care of business.
"Kersh is kind of what we're all about," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "What Kersh has done all year to this point really means nothing. He'll be one of the first guys here tomorrow, blow out a workout and be on track to the next one. He doesn't take a hitter off. Every pitch has a purpose. He wants every out he can get. And he keeps turning the page. Everything in the past is over, and it's about today. He's pretty amazing."
Kershaw carried a perfect game into the fifth inning and L.A. starters are 15-1 in their past 21 games. The Dodgers' staff has an MLB-best 16 shutouts this season.
Juan Uribe was 3-for-3 with a three-run home run in the ninth, while Yasiel Puig added two hits for the Dodgers, who last won 11 in a row from July 28- Aug. 8, 2006. The NL West leaders have an 8 1/2-game edge on Arizona, are 25-3 since the All-Star break and 42-8 since June 22, matching the 1941 Yankees and 1942 Cardinals for the best 50-game stretch since 1900.
The Dodgers sit a season-best 22 games over .500 and are 13-0-4 in the last 17 series. They've won four straight and 19 of the last 20 on the road.
Los Angeles, which will visit Miami for four games starting Monday, is slated to send former Marlin Ricky Nolasco to the hill Sunday and he is 4-1 with a 2.97 ERA in seven starts with his new club. Nolasco has ripped off three straight wins, including Monday's 4-2 victory over the New York Mets. He gave up two runs in 6 1/3 innings in that one.
Nolasco, a right-hander, has faced the Phillies several times in his career, going 8-6 with a 3.78 ERA in 21 games (18 starts).
Philadelphia fell to 0-2 since Ryne Sandberg took over for Charlie Manuel as interim manager and has dropped four straight and 21 of 25 games.
The Phillies couldn't solve Kershaw in Saturday's loss and Kyle Kendrick countered the Dodgers' southpaw, charged with two runs -- one earned -- and seven hits in six innings of work. Luis Garcia served up Uribe's blast in the ninth inning.
"I battled, gave us a quality outing and a chance to win. That's all you can ask," Kendrick said. "Against a guy like (Kershaw), he's pretty good, obviously. You just try to keep the game close."
Domonic Brown broke up Kershaw's perfect game in the fifth, while Casper Wells doubled and John Mayberry had the other hit for the Phillies.
Philadelphia is 0-2 on this 10-game homestand and hopes Cole Hamels can deliver Sandberg his first win when he toes the rubber Sunday. Hamels has endured a rough season at 5-13 with a 3.65 earned run average in 25 starts and ended a lengthy drought (0-2) the last time out. Hamels had been winless in five straight starts until besting Atlanta in Monday's 5-1 win by going the distance and striking out nine batters.
Hamels went the distance for the first time in 2013 and hopes to stay strong in his career against the Dodgers. In six starts against Los Angeles, Hamels is 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA. That could be a problem since Hamels is only 2-6 in 12 starts at home.
The Phillies lost three of four games at Dodger Stadium from June 27-30.
08/18 11:01:48 ET
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