A pair of division leaders will battle at Miller Park this weekend, as the Los Angeles Dodgers pay a visit to the Milwaukee Brewers Friday night.
The Dodgers are 3 1/2 games clear of the San Francisco Giants for the NL West lead, while the Brewers hold a slim one-game edge over the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central.
Los Angeles will unveil its newest acquisition Friday with Roberto Hernandez set to make his Dodgers debut after coming over in a trade with Philadelphia. Hernandez went 6-8 with a 3.87 earned run average in 23 games (20 starts) with the Phillies and is coming off arguably his best performance of the season in last Friday's 2-1 win at Washington.
Hernandez hurled eight strong innings and gave up an unearned run with three strikeouts and one walk. He is 3-0 in his last four outings and has faced Milwaukee three times (2 starts) in his career, going 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA. The Dodgers acquired the right-hander with Josh Beckett nursing an injury and a possible trip to the disabled list coming.
The Dodgers won the last three installments of a home-and-home series with the LA Angels and recorded a 7-0 win on Thursday behind seven shutout innings from Hyun-Jin Ryu. Ryu fanned four batters and issued one walk to improve to 13-5.
"Hyun-Jin was really good tonight. He changed speeds, used both sides of the plate and kept them off-balance," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.
Hanley Ramirez went 3-for-5 with two RBI and Adrian Gonzalez collected two hits, two RBI and a run scored for Los Angeles, which had a 13-2 advantage in hits and has won 10 of its last 13 games. Yasiel Puig and Miguel Rojas had two hits apiece in the win.
The Dodgers have won five in a row on the road and will visit Atlanta for four games on this trip. They are 36-23 on the road this season.
Milwaukee did the Dodgers a favor by taking two of three meetings with the Giants and posted a 3-1 win in Thursday's rubber match. Wily Peralta earned his 14th win of the season with 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball, nine strikeouts and one walk.
"I have a lot of confidence in Wily (Peralta)," said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke. "He doesn't seem to lose his stuff when he gets to a point where most guys do. I looked up there one time and I saw his 98th pitch and it was 98 miles per hour."
Francisco Rodriguez posted his 34th save with a scoreless ninth inning, while Ryan Braun, Khris Davis and Mark Reynolds had an RBI apiece for the Brewers.
The Brewers have won four of their last seven games and will hand the ball to Kyle Lohse on Friday. Lohse is 11-6 with a 3.40 earned run average and has lost consecutive starts, including Saturday's 9-7 setback at St. Louis. He was roughed up for nine runs -- seven earned -- in a season-low four innings.
Lohse is just 2-4 in his last six decisions and has a 4-2 mark in nine home starts this season. In 11 career games (9 starts) against the Dodgers, Lohse has a 2-4 mark to go along with a 4.66 ERA.
The Dodgers and Brewers are meeting for the first time this season and Los Angeles took four of six matchups a year ago. Milwaukee went 6-1 in 2012.