(Sports Network) - Illness forced Clayton Kershaw out of his first start this
season. Any lingering effects should be remedied this afternoon with the
reigning Cy Young Award winner set to start the Los Angeles Dodgers' home
opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Kershaw will usher in a new era at Dodgers Stadium in the opener of this
three-game series, the first for the club since a group that includes
legendary Laker Magic Johnson purchased the franchise from Frank McCourt. It
will be the second start of the season for the left-hander following his brief
debut last Thursday.
Kershaw opened up Los Angeles' season in San Diego, but was forced out of a
5-3 victory after three innings due to the flu. Last season's pitching Triple
Crown winner allowed two hits and a walk while striking out three in his
shortest outing since a career-low 1 1/3-inning appearance versus Milwaukee on
May 4, 2010.
"Basically he was just trying to get quick innings, get through them and get
off the field," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "It was pretty
Though the Pirates are hitting just .192 against the 24-year-old Kershaw, he
is 0-1 against them in four starts with a 3.60 earned run average.
The Dodgers won their first three games of the season before suffering an 8-4
setback to the Padres on Sunday. Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier both connected on
two-run homers, while Aaron Harang was touched for four runs -- three earned
-- over just 4 1/3 innings.
"We just weren't able to scratch anything together," said Mattingly.
A runner-up for the National League MVP award last season, Kemp has a 16-game
hitting streak dating back to 2011 and has already posted a pair of homers and
eight RBI on the season.
The Pirates start up a nine-game road trip out west after taking two of three
at home over the Phillies. Pittsburgh lost the opener 1-0, but took the final
two meetings on walk-off plays.
Alex Presley beat out an infield single that scored in the bottom of the 10th
inning in Saturday's 2-1 win before Andrew McCutchen's RBI single with two
outs in the ninth lifted the Pirates to a 5-4 triumph.
"None of us wanted to go back out on the field after playing extras
yesterday," said McCutchen, who had three hits. "I just got hold of a good
pitch and was able to drive it deep. This is a great series to start the
Starting Pittsburgh's first road game of the season will be Kevin Correia, who
went 10-3 with a 2.64 ERA in 14 road starts in 2011 compared to a 7.71 ERA at
home. The right-hander wrapped his first season with Pittsburgh leading the
team in wins thanks to a 12-11 mark and 4.79 ERA in 27 games.
The 31-year-old Correia began his career with the Padres and Giants, facing
them 25 times in his career. Eleven of those have been starts, with Correia
going 4-4 with a 4.91 ERA in that span.
The Dodgers won six of eight versus the Pirates last season, winning three of
four in Los Angeles while plating 30 runs. They have won 11 of their past 13
at home against Pittsburgh.
The Sports Network