Kershaw's first win still on the docket
Los Angeles (36-41) vs. Chicago (42-35), Thurs., 12:10 p.m. PT
LOS ANGELES -- Clayton Kershaw will be aiming for his first career victory Thursday afternoon when he takes the ball against the White Sox.
The much-hyped Kershaw went winless in 10 games (nine starts) for Double-A Jacksonville and now has not won any of his first six starts in Los Angeles, with five going for no-decisions.But Dodgers manager Joe Torre would rather see Kershaw just pitch well as he has much of the year than put any extra pressure on himself to get that victory. "I don't think the win, I mean, if he went out there and won 10-9 I'm not sure that would please him even though he may have gotten the win," Torre said. "I think that Kershaw is at a point now where he thinks he can do things better, and when that happens the win will come, but I don't think the win is a major concern to him at this point in time. I think he's more concerned with the quality of what he does as opposed to what the end result is." Torre said Kershaw knows what he needs to improve on and has seen how he needs to go about his business during his short time in the Majors. That has led him to a number of near victories, three times yielding two runs only to come away empty. His best shot at a win thus far may have been June 15 at Detroit when he gave up just two hits in four scoreless innings before being pulled after a rain delay. All that's left is a win to show for that effort, although Torre knows he has bigger things on the horizon. "I think he's interested in more than that," Torre said. Pitching matchup
LAD: LHP Clayton Kershaw (0-1, 4.34 ERA)
Against the Indians last time out, Kershaw couldn't duplicate the four scoreless innings he threw against the Tigers in his previous start. He allowed a two-run homer to Kelly Shoppach and was removed after walking the first two batters in the sixth inning. He remained winless for the season and the Dodgers have scored eight runs while he was in the game during his six starts. CWS: LHP John Danks (4-4, 2.80 ERA)
Danks' debut performance in the Crosstown Showdown was one to remember, holding the Cubs to one run on five hits over six innings in a no-decision. The left-hander struck out five, but more importantly, didn't issue a walk in throwing 56 of his 85 pitches for strikes. From the last out in the second to Kosuke Fukudome's one-out single in the sixth, Danks retired 11 straight. The southpaw, who has never faced the Dodgers, has allowed two earned runs or less this year in 12 of his 15 starts. Danks also has worked seven innings or more in just two of his trips to the mound but has gone at last six innings on 10 occasions. Tidbits
The Dodgers have surpassed 3 million in ticket sales for the 2008 season, the 13th straight year they have reached that total and a Major League-record 23rd time overall. In 38 home dates thus far, the Dodgers have drawn 1,707,791 fans, an average 44,942 fans per game. ... Stadium voting for the All-Star Game ended Wednesday, but fans can still vote for their favorite players at dodgers.com. ... Although Thursday will be the last game of the year between the Dodgers and White Sox, they will meet up a number of times in Spring Training in the coming years. The teams have broken ground on a shared state-of-the-art stadium complex in Glendale, Ariz., scheduled to open in 2009. ... The White Sox brought in a lefty reliever to face left-handed pitcher Eric Stults on Wednesday with the bases loaded after Stults recorded his first career RBI with a sacrifice fly in his previous at-bat. Stults ended up striking out swinging on three pitches. ... First baseman James Loney extended his hitting streak to 12 in Wednesday's game. He's hitting .435 during that stretch. ... Brad Guzan of the Chivas USA, Major League Soccer's Goalkeeper of the Year, attended Wednesday's game. ... The Dodgers promoted pitcher Steven Johnson to Class A Inland Empire. Tickets
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Friday: Dodgers (Chan Ho Park, 2-2, 2.83) vs. Angels (Joe Saunders, 11-3, 3.03), 7:40 p.m. PT
Saturday: Dodgers (Chad Billingsley, 6-7, 3.64) vs. Angels (Jered Weaver, 7-7, 4.56), 7:10 p.m. PT
Sunday: Dodgers (Derek Lowe, 5-7, 4.05) vs. Angels (John Lackey, 5-1, 1.65), 1:10 p.m. PT
Michael Schwartz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.