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The Los Angeles Dodgers, who crushed the host Miami Marlins 15-1 on Tuesday, will go for their sixth straight series win on Wednesday.
In the opener of a three-game series, Los Angeles hit six homers on Tuesday to tie the single-game Marlins Park record.
Said Miami manager Don Mattingly: “We weren’t able to stop them.”
Not many teams have stopped Los Angeles all season. The Dodgers, who are a virtual lock to win their seventh straight National League West title, are they are tied with the New York Yankees for the best record in the majors.
On Wednesday, the Dodgers will hope to shut down their opponent once again as they send ace left-hander Clayton Kershaw (11-2, 2.77 ERA) to the mound against Marlins right-hander Elieser Hernandez (2-4, 4.94).
Kershaw, a three-time NL Cy Young Award winner, is also an eight-time All-Star and five-time ERA champion. He has a no-hitter to his credit, and he won the NL MVP award in 2014 and a Gold Glove in 2011.
Kershaw, who was originally scheduled to start on Tuesday but was moved back one day to give him extra rest, began this season on the injured list and didn’t make his debut until April 15. He didn’t get his first win until April 27.
But since the calendar turned to July, Kershaw has been as brilliant as ever. In his past six starts, he is 4-0 with a 1.66 ERA. All six were quality starts, including a seven-inning, one-run outing on Aug. 6 against St. Louis in his most recent appearance.
Kershaw is 5-5 with a 2.55 ERA in 12 career starts against the Marlins, including a 2-2 mark with a 1.85 ERA in four starts at Marlins Park. In his lone outing against Miami this year, he threw six scoreless innings and struck out 10 in a no-decision on July 20 at Dodger Stadium.
Hernandez has made two career appearances against the Dodgers, including one start, and he is 0-1 with a 7.94 ERA. He yielded four runs in less than an inning in relief on July 20 in Los Angeles.
The good news for Hernandez is that he may have thrown the best game of his major league career in his most recent outing, beating the Atlanta Braves 9-2 on Thursday. The 24-year-old pitched six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits while striking out seven batters.
Hernandez is also comfortable at home. In eight games (four starts) this season at Marlins Park, he is 2-1 with a 3.29 ERA. In six road games (four starts), he is 0-3 with a 7.20 ERA.
Hernandez will face a Dodgers offense that is beyond dangerous.
“Everyone wants to be great on this team,” said Los Angeles first baseman Cody Bellinger, who on Tuesday tied for the major league lead with his 39th homer of the season. “That’s what we’re showing.”
The Dodgers, who are 11-2 in their past 13 games, have impressed everyone, even their own manager.
“Just a relentless approach,” Dave Roberts said. “That (15-1 win) was as good a night as we’ve had all year.”
Added Marlins pitcher Jordan Yamamoto, who took the loss Tuesday: “The Dodgers are great. Everyone knows that.”
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)
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