Chicago Cubs (45-62) at Los Angeles Dodgers (62-47), 10:10 p.m. (ET)
(SportsNetwork.com) - It's not easy being Dan Haren in Los Angeles' star- studded rotation, but the Dodgers are sticking with the right-hander for now.
Haren looks to move past a rough July on Friday night when the Dodgers begin a three-game series with the Chicago Cubs.
The 33-year-old lost all four of his starts last month while pitching to a 9.47 earned run average. He gave up 20 runs over 19 innings, capping the month with a 6-1 loss to Pittsburgh on July 23.
Los Angeles then opted to skip his next scheduled start due to a number of upcoming off days, but then opted to go with the 33-year-old tonight to give hurler Hyun-Jin Ryu an extra day of rest.
Haren is 8-8 with a 4.49 earned run average on the season, giving up 21 homers in 21 starts, but the Dodgers did not add another starter prior to Thursday's non-waiver trade deadline so it appears Haren's role is safe for the time being.
"In Pittsburgh, their leading winner has eight wins and Danny's got eight wins," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly noted of Haren's on his team's official website. "Dan Haren has done a pretty good job. It's like we cut him up because he's not Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu. I take exception to people who want to throw him aside. At this pace, he'll win 14 or 15 games."
Haren is 2-2 with a 4.91 earned run average versus the Cubs and will follow yet another gem by Clayton Kershaw, who won his 10th consecutive decision with a 2-1 win over the Atlanta Braves on Thursday.
Kershaw nearly logged his third shutout of the campaign, but instead settled for his fifth complete game of the year as he gave up a run in the ninth inning.
"Clayton got us where we needed to go - a complete game," Mattingly said. "It was a good game for us. That was his game. He's our best guy."
Los Angeles swept its second straight series following back-to-back losses to Pittsburgh, capping a road trip with three wins over the San Francisco Giants before taking all three of the set with the Braves. That has the Dodgers up 3 1/2 games over the Giants for first in the NL West.
While the Dodgers were quiet before the trade deadline, the Cubs made yet another deal by sending pitcher James Russell and utilityman Emilio Bonifacio to the Braves for catching prospect Victor Caratini.
Chicago began its latest fire sale when it shipped starters Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to Oakland back on July 5 and it also dealt infielder Darwin Barney to the Dodgers on Monday.
The Cubs just took three of four from the Rockies, winning 3-1 on Thursday, but remain 14 games out of first place in the NL Central.
Starter Jake Arrieta shined in yesterday's start, taking a perfect game into the fifth inning and giving up just one run over his seven-frame outing.
"It's kind of one of those things where the more you go out there and continue to do it, it just seems like it's supposed to happen that way," said Arrieta of his early success. "It's a good feeling when you get into that groove and you're able to execute pitch after pitch."
Right-hander Kyle Hendricks makes his fourth career start tonight for the Cubs and is coming off his first major league loss, a tough-luck 1-0 setback to the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday. He logged 6 1/3 innings, serving up a solo homer with two outs in the first inning.
The 24-year-old is 1-1 with a 2.33 ERA through three starts.
The Dodgers have won nine of their last 10 against the Cubs, going 5-1 at home in that span.