National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, April 20th
(All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Dodgers (10-3) at Houston Astros (5-8), 8:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Los Angeles - Ted Lilly (1-0, 0.00)
Houston - J.A. Happ (1-0, 3.75)
(Sports Network) - Ted Lilly's neck looked just fine in his season debut last
weekend. The veteran looks to follow up that outstanding outing this evening
as the Los Angeles Dodgers begin a three-game series against the Houston
Lilly's first start of the season was delayed because of a strained neck and
the 36-year-old finally saw major league action on Saturday versus the Padres.
It was worth the wait for the Dodgers as Lilly gave up only unearned run over
seven innings, scattering two hits and a walk to earn a 6-1 victory.
The left-hander has faced the Astros 15 times in his career, going 7-3 with a
2.64 earned run average.
The Dodgers dropped two in a row to the Brewers to begin the week following a
9-1 start, but rebounded to salvage the finale of the series on Thursday with
a 4-3 win.
Matt Kemp continued his excellent start to the season with a solo homer in the
fifth inning that proved to be the difference. He leads the majors with a .451
average and seven homers, while his 18 runs batted in are tied with teammate
Andre Ethier for the most in the majors. Ethier also drove in a run on
"I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing, driving in runs and helping us win,"
Aaron Harang gave up three runs on eight hits in six innings for the Dodgers,
who had lost the first two games of the series in the Brewers' final at-bat.
"We could have gotten swept but we also could have swept them, too," said
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, who will celebrate his 51st birthday today.
"All three games were kind of nip-and-tuck the whole way. Today we were able
to get the big outs."
The Astros could prove a challenge for the Dodgers tonight if Houston can
repeat Thursday's offensive performance. The Astros avoided a four-game sweep
at the hands of the Nationals with an 11-4 win, getting three hits and a pair
of RBI from both Brian Bogusevic and Jason Castro.
Jose Altuve and J.D. Martinez also knocked in two runs apiece and Matt Downs
drove in one while scoring three times for the Astros, who snapped a four-game
losing streak overall.
Bud Norris got the win by allowing four runs on 10 hits and two walks with six
strikeouts over six innings. He also knocked in two and scored a run.
"It felt nice," Norris said of his hit, laughing. "It fell in there and scored
two, another big inning for us, and that's always nice."
More offense from tonight's starter, J.A. Happ, would be an added bonus, but
the Astros would simply settle for the left-hander to continue his solid start
to the season.
The left-hander pitched to a 5.35 ERA in 28 starts last season and opened up
his 2012 campaign by beating the Braves on April 9. Happ allowed three runs
over six innings, then got a no-decision against the Marlins on Sunday despite
giving up a pair of runs on five hits over six innings while striking out
Happ, 29, is 0-1 in three career games versus the Dodgers, including two
starts, despite a 1.69 ERA.
The Dodgers have won their last four meetings with the Astros.
04/20 10:59:08 ET