Sunday, June 26, 2016

Kershaw battles Bucs aiming for dozen wins

Clayton Kershaw has not taken a loss since April 26 and he'll try to keep that streak alive as the Dodgers continue their series with the Pirates on Sunday night.
Kershaw leads the Majors in ERA (1.57), WHIP (0.67), strikeouts (141) and opponents' batting average (.174). The three-time Cy Young Award winner has issued just seven walks this season, and his strikeout-to-walk ratio is 20.14 in 115 innings pitched.
He will face a Pirates team that's batting .267 but has gone 6-17 in June. Since Pittsburgh has lost ace Gerrit Cole to right triceps tightness and Juan Nicasio has been relegated to the bullpen, right-hander Chad Kuhl will be recalled from Triple-A to make his Major League debut opposite Kershaw.
Kuhl joins a pitching staff that has an ERA of 4.59. In 14 Triple-A starts in 2016, Kuhl has gone 6-2 with a 2.58 ERA and 1.19 WHIP.
Though Kuhl faces tough competition, he will try not to get overwhelmed by the circumstances.
"It's just going to be a lot of fun to be out there," Kuhl said. "I'm just going to treat it like any other start. Just another deck of fans and a really good guy opposing me."
Things to know about this game
• Left knee surgery delayed Jung Ho Kang's season debut until May 6, but the third baseman still leads the Pirates with 11 home runs.
• The Pirates have won 12 of their last 15 games vs. the Dodgers, winning five of six games vs. Los Angeles last season.
• Kershaw has gone 2-2 with a 2.90 ERA in 10 career starts vs. the Pirates, limiting hitters to a .205 average.

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