Hiroki Kuroda (1-3, 3.67) vs. Johnny Cueto (2-4, 5.75).
COMMENTS: Infused with the heady aroma of a series win over Cincinnati, the Dodgers send Kuroda to the mound tonight for the sweep. A victory would not only give Kuroda his second win of the season but also bring the Dodgers to .500 (7-for-14) sans Rafael Furcal—a pretty decent record without the contributions of this year's MVP. Meanwhile, life without Raffy is looking up. Chad Billingsley just might be the stopper we've been yearning for. The heretofore unthinkable outfield of Juan Pierre, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier is producing and will finally get some consistent playing time. The bullpen is back to its nasty self. All that stands between the Dodgers and Furcal's scheduled return Friday is Cueto, who averages about a strikeout per inning but also allows a lot of home runs. The Dodgers, who have been shut out only twice this season, figure to score some runs for Kuroda. Hopefully his string of hard-luck outings will end tonight.
For those attending tonight's game: Leave early, as you'll be competing with the Lakers (Staples Center, 6p) and the American Idol final (Nokia Theatre, 5p). Our own Steve Sax will be on the Field level, third-base side—give a holler in the comments section if you want to meet up!