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Dodgers ready for Freeway Series

Dodgers ready for Freeway Series

LOS ANGELES -- As if the Dodgers haven't had enough of Interleague Play, now they get the Angels again.

Holding a Freeway Series that counts has been well received by the fans, but it's definitely been damaging to the Dodgers in the standings.

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They are 3-9 against the American League this year, 88-100 overall and 18-42 since 2005. Specifically against the Angels, the Dodgers are 28-37 overall, which includes losing two of three at Anaheim last month.

The one game they did win on May 17 was started by Chan Ho Park, who earned a no-decision in a 6-3 victory and gets the start in Friday night's opener. The assignment will not be an easy one, as the Angels start Joe Saunders, who's 11-3 and possibly headed to an All-Star berth.

"The Angels are a great ballclub," said Dodgers manager Joe Torre, whose Yankees were tormented by the Angels most of his years in New York. "They've got a great leader in Mike [Scioscia]. They play with a lot of confidence. They're winning just about every day."

The Dodgers, meanwhile, have been struggling, unable to overcome a slew of injuries that has necessitated constant reinforcements from the farm system. Of the current 25-man active roster, 11 have spent some time in the Minor Leagues this year. The offense scratched out only 17 hits in the recent three-game series with the White Sox.

The one ironman for the Dodgers this year has been James Loney, the only player to have appeared in all 78 games. He had his 12-game hitting streak snapped on Thursday, but is hitting .383 for the month and is looking forward to facing the rivals to the south.

"There's usually an electric atmosphere for those games," Loney said. "There might be action in the stands."

Pitching matchup
LAD: RHP Chan Ho Park (2-2, 2.83 ERA)
Park will make a second start in place of the injured Brad Penny. Park did more than could be expected in his last start, pitching in sweltering heat and opposing Cy Young winner C.C. Sabathia, who was the only Cleveland hitter who really hurt Park with a long solo homer. Otherwise, Park struck out nine in only five innings, while allowing three hits in a no-decision. His only other start of the year was against the Angels, allowing two runs (one earned) in four innings.

LAA: LHP Joe Saunders (11-3, 3.03 ERA)
Saunders was in complete command, having held the Phillies to two hits, when they struck for a pair of runs with two outs in the seventh. When the Angels rallied in the eighth, the lefty had earned his AL-leading 11th win, giving up two earned runs on five hits and two walks. From the outset, he was throwing strikes and getting early-count outs. The Phillies didn't have a man in scoring position before Jayson Werth's solo homer in the seventh. Saunders won his only start against the Dodgers, giving up two earned runs in 7 1/3 innings. This will be his first appearance at Dodger Stadium.

Tidbits
Iinfielder Ivan DeJesus was selected to the World Team for the XM All-Star Futures Game. He is the lone Dodger farmhand to play in the 10th-annual game, which this year is being held at Yankee Stadium. The 21-year-old ranks fifth in the league with a .409 on-base percentage, and is batting .294 with 11 doubles, 30 RBIs and 50 walks in 74 games. ... Juan Pierre and Matt Kemp have 32 and 15 stolen bases, respectively. Kemp's total is a career high, while Pierre has half as many as he finished with last season. ... Reliever Brian Falkenborg made his first Dodgers appearance in more than four years Thursday, inheriting a no-out jam from Clayton Kershaw and escaping without allowing a run to score. ... Las Vegas outfielder Jason Repko is 8-for-18 (.444) with three doubles in his last five games, and is hitting .362 (34-for-94) with 14 RBIs in 23 games in June to raise his average to .268 from .219. ... Former Major League pitcher Jerome Williams was signed to a Minor League contract and activated at Class A Inland Empire.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• PRIME-HD

On radio
• KABC 790, KHJ 930 (Español)

Up next
• Saturday: Dodgers (Chad Billingsley, 6-7, 3.64) vs. Angels (Jered Weaver, 7-7, 4.56), 7:10 p.m. PT
• Sunday: Dodgers (Derek Lowe, 5-7, 4.05) vs. Angels (John Lackey, 5-1, 1.65), 1:10 p.m. PT
• Monday: Dodgers (Eric Stults, 2-0, 0.60) at Astros (Roy Oswalt, 6-8, 4.77), 5:05 p.m. PT

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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