(SportsNetwork.com) - It is Clayton Kershaw's turn to join the pitching party for the Los Angeles Dodgers, as they shoot for a three-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.
Josh Beckett set the bar high with a no-hitter on Sunday in Philadelphia, Hyun-Jin Ryu was six outs away from a perfect game in the opener versus the Reds and Zack Greinke was effective through 7 2/3 innings in Tuesday's win.
Now it's up to Dodgers ace and reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Kershaw to keep the trend going. Kershaw was pummeled by Arizona on May 17 in an 18-7 loss and allowed seven runs in only 1 2/3 innings. He rebounded in Friday's 2-0 win at Philadelphia, tossing six shutout innings with nine K's.
"Just pretty miserable," Kershaw said of having to wait in between starts. "Those four days or five days in between, it's just not a whole lot of fun sitting on that game. I'm glad this day came. I'm glad we got a win and now this is my last start, and not that one, so it's good."
Kershaw, who had allowed 10 runs in his previous two starts, will make his second start of the season at Chavez Ravine and is 2-1 with a 2.78 earned run average in eight career starts against Cincinnati.
Greinke, meanwhile, struck out 11 Reds with no walks and was reached for three runs and eight hits in 7 2/3 innings. J.P. Howell recorded the final out in the eighth inning and Kenley Jansen posted his 16th save in the ninth. Jansen is second in the majors in saves, one behind Milwaukee's Francisco Rodriguez.
Andre Ethier had two hits, including a home run, and four RBI for the Dodgers, winners in three straight and six of eight games. They are 2-0 on a 10-game homestand and will welcome Pittsburgh to town for four games next.
"We did a good job tonight," Ethier said. "We were able to get some runs early. It's fun to see the way our guys have been pitching."
The Dodgers announced outfielder Carl Crawford will be headed to the disabled list with a sprained left ankle. Crawford sustained the injury in the eighth inning of Tuesday's win and was replaced by Scott Van Slyke.
"It doesn't look good," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of the injury. "The video didn't look good."
LA outfielder Matt Kemp was not in the lineup for a fifth straight game. It is unknown when the slugger will return. Shortstop Hanley Ramirez was back in action Tuesday and missed four starts with a calf strain. Ramirez was 1-for-4 with an RBI.
The Reds have dropped four in a row and seven of 10 games, and starting pitcher Alfredo Simon failed to pick up his seventh win (6-3) after he allowed five runs and five hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Devin Mesoraco hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning for Cincinnati. He has homered twice in the last five games and owns six homers on the season.
Cincinnati's two through five batters all went 1-for-4 at the plate. Billy Hamilton was 0-for-4 in the leadoff spot.
"Zack mixed pitches well," Cincinnati third baseman Todd Frazier said of Greinke. "You've got to get him when he's throwing strikes. I swung at too many balls tonight."
The Reds have a four-game series slated for Arizona this weekend, but first will try to avoid the sweep in LA with Homer Bailey on the mound Wednesday. Bailey is 4-3 with a 5.34 ERA in 11 starts and has won four of his last six decisions, including Friday's 5-3 win over St. Louis. He allowed three runs in six innings of work.
The right-hander has made eight career starts against Los Angeles and has a 3-3 record and a 4.01 ERA to show for it. Bailey is 1-2 in five road starts.
Los Angeles lost four of seven meetings with the Reds last season. Cincinnati has lost its last three series at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers have won five straight at home versus Cincinnati and are 20-7 as the host in this series since the 2006 campaign.