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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, June 15th (All times Eastern)

Los Angeles Dodgers (28-38) at Pittsburgh Pirates (40-27), 4:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Los Angeles - Clayton Kershaw (5-4, 1.88) Pittsburgh - Brandon Cumpton (0-0, 0.00)

(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Dodgers have captured six consecutive series from the Pittsburgh Pirates, but that streak could come to an end Saturday in the second of three straight meetings between the clubs.

Lucky for Los Angeles, it will have lefty Clayton Kershaw on the mound this afternoon as its possible stopper. The 2011 National League Cy Young Award winner is going through a tough time, though. He's 0-2 over his last four starts and on Monday against Arizona, Kershaw allowed a run over seven innings in a no-decision.

For his career, Kershaw is 2-1 with a 2.57 ERA in seven games against the Pirates.

The Dodgers continued to struggle on the road Friday night by virtue of a 3-0 loss in the opener of this three-game set at PNC Park.

Jeff Locke extended his personal winning streak with seven innings of two-hit ball. The Dodgers beat up Locke (6-1) in his first start of the season, but he hasn't been tagged with a loss since -- a span that stretches 13 starts.

The young lefty retired the last 11 batters he faced and allowed just a pair of singles over his stellar outing.

"He came to pitch," said Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle. "He was on top of his game, throwing first pitch strikes and working ahead. He was just very, very efficient."

Andrew McCutchen helped provide all the offense, knocking in a pair of runs and also scoring once.

Jason Grilli allowed the first two batters to reach in the ninth, but set the next three down in order to preserve the shutout and notch his 24th save of the season.

Yasiel Puig had two of the Dodgers' six hits as they dropped their fifth contest in six games. Stephen Fife (1-2) surrendered two runs on six hits and three walks over five innings in defeat.

"I put myself in some bad spots," said Fife. "That's just the way baseball goes, they call it a game of inches for a reason."

The last series lost for the Dodgers to the Bucs came when the club dropped two of three in its season-opening series in 2010.

The Dodgers, though, are just 3-12 on the road since May 3.

Today they'll deal with Brandon Cumpton, who makes his major league debut. The 24-year-old right-hander is filling in for A.J. Burnett, who is on the disabled list with a Grade 1 tear of his right calf.

The Dodgers won six of seven games with the Pirates in 2012 and swept a three- game set this season between April 5-7 in Los Angeles.

06/15 10:27:47 ET


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