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Less than a week after the Los Angeles Dodgers’ fortunes appeared to be on the rise, injuries and inconsistency are threatening to destroy their postseason hopes. Los Angeles sits 4 1/2 games behind National League West-leading San Francisco after losing Thursday to Arizona, which has won seven straight against the Dodgers. When the teams continue their four-game series Friday, it’s unclear whether Los Angeles outfielder Matt Kemp will be available. Kemp has missed two games since crashing into the center field fence on Tuesday, and he wasn’t able to pinch hit on Thursday. Arizona Diamondbacks snapped its six-game losing streak and remained 9 1/2 games behind the Giants after posting a 2-0 victory in the series opener.
Kemp’s status is one of many concerns for the Dodgers, who are waiting to learn more about starting pitcher Chad Billingsley’s injured right elbow. There’s a chance he could miss the rest of the season, and the same could be said for closer Kenley Jansen, who is out indefinitely with a heart-related condition. While Los Angeles is losing players seemingly every other day, Arizona is hopeful that shortstop Willie Bloomquist will rejoin the team on Saturday. Bloomquist has been on the disabled list since Aug. 9 with a strained lower back, and he’ll likely be eased back into action when he returns. Pitcher Josh Collmenter (ulcers) is also expected to return this weekend.
Diamondbacks Dodgers Betting
When: 10:10 PM ET, Friday, August 31, 2012
Where: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California
TV: 10:10 p.m. ET, FS Arizona (Arizona), PRIME (Los Angeles)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Diamondbacks RH Trevor Cahill (9-11, 3.99 ERA) vs. Dodgers RH Aaron Harang (9-8, 3.70)
Cahill has struggled this month, going 0-2 with a 5.20 ERA through his last five starts. He allowed four runs in 3 2/3 innings against San Diego last Sunday, and he’s given up three runs or more in four of his last five outings. Cahill is 2-0 with a 2.37 ERA in three starts against the Dodgers this season, including a quality outing last month when he gave up one run over six innings.
Harang gave up three runs over 5 1/3 innings last Sunday against the Marlins, falling to 2-2 with a 3.37 ERA through four starts in August. In two starts against Arizona this season, Harang is 0-1 with an 11.57 ERA. Harang has a 2.98 ERA against the Diamondbacks in 15 career games (14 starts).
1. Los Angeles INF Hanley Ramirez is hitting .290 (31-for-107) with seven home runs and 26 RBIs in 27 games in August.
2. Arizona RHP Brad Ziegler leads all major league relievers with 14 double plays induced.
3. The Dodgers reinstated RHP Matt Guerrier from the 60-day disabled list and optioned RHP Josh Wall to Triple-A Albuquerque.