Dodgers get back to work after rest day

Dodgers get back to work after rest day

SAN FRANCISCO -- By the time the Dodgers open the next series against the D-backs on Friday night, they'll have had a day off to rest their bullpen and their injured second baseman and generally chill after a three-week run that ended with an intense walk-off loss to the Giants.

"We had to come in and turn things around, and we did that," Jeff Weaver said of the club's improved play after losing four of the last five games at home. "One thing you can say is we stick together. You know things will turn around as long as you keep working at it. We just have to keep it going, basically. Taking two of three is a step in the right direction."

The Dodgers believe they will have former D-backs All-Star second baseman Orlando Hudson back in the lineup Friday night. Hudson suffered a slight groin strain Monday night and didn't start Tuesday or Wednesday, but was used as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning Wednesday, striking out.

The Dodgers open the series with one of the hottest pitchers in the league on the mound. Clayton Kershaw is winless in his last four starts, despite a 1.80 ERA in that stretch. In his last 10 starts, he's 5-1 with a 1.06 ERA. This will be his first start at Chase Field. The Dodgers are 6-2 against Arizona this year.

The Thursday day off will allow for a freshening of the bullpen, which pitched the final 6 1/3 innings against the Giants.

With Chad Billingsley still questionable to make his next start Monday, the Dodgers are expected to keep 13 pitchers active throughout the series, which became an issue in Wednesday's extra-inning game. The only relievers that did not pitch were Jonathan Broxton, who warmed up twice, and recently promoted Charlie Haeger.

George Sherrill pitched two more scoreless innings Wednesday, given him 7 1/3 since he was acquired from Baltimore on July 30. Ramon Troncoso, who had allowed nine runs in his last six innings, pitched a scoreless inning against the Giants as he tries to get back on track.

Manager Joe Torre used up his four-man bench and when the game ended, Russell Martin had moved from catcher to third base, Casey Blake had moved from third base to first base and Mark Loretta was playing second base. It was Martin's first appearance of the year at third base, coming in the same stadium where Martin made his Major League debut at the position.

Pitching matchup
LAD: LHP Clayton Kershaw (8-6, 2.73 ERA)
Kershaw certainly pitched well enough to win Saturday night against the Braves. He struck out 10, walked one and gave up just two hits in one of his strongest outings of the season. After being unable to last at least six innings on Aug. 3 for the first time since July 1, Kershaw didn't hesitate to go after the Atlanta hitters. He struck out two batters in each of the first three innings, as his fastball and curveball appeared especially lively. Kershaw is 0-0 with a 2.70 ERA in two career starts against the D-backs.

ARI: RHP Dan Haren (11-7, 2.57 ERA)
Once the National League Cy Young front-runner, Haren has been far from an ace over his last four starts, surrendering 16 runs in 23 innings. His latest effort was a loss in which he threw six innings and gave up five runs at Washington. "It's no secret, I'm scuffling right now," Haren said. "I really haven't had a great rhythm the last few times out. I'm trying to find it right now. I just have to try to dig myself out of a hole, the best I can."

Tidbits
Andre Ethier's tying single in the ninth inning Wednesday gave him a team-high 76 RBIs, one more than Matt Kemp. Ethier had two of the Dodgers' four hits off Tim Lincecum. ... Dodgers pitchers walked Giants hitters nine times Wednesday, while Dodgers hitters walked only once against Lincecum, who struck out seven. The Dodgers had only four hits and had only two chances with runners in scoring position.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

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

On television
• KCAL

On radio
• KABC 790, KHJ 930 (Español)

Up next
• Saturday: Dodgers (Hiroki Kuroda, 5-5, 4.21) at Diamondbacks (Yusmeiro Petit, 2-6, 5.87), 5:10 p.m. PT
• Sunday: Dodgers (Randy Wolf, 6-6, 3.43) at Diamondbacks (TBD), 1:10 p.m. PT
• Monday: Dodgers (Chad Billingsley, 11-6, 3.73) vs. Cardinals (TBD), 7:10 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.