Los Angeles Dodgers (86-66) at Chicago Cubs (68-84), 8:05 p.m. (ET)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The NL West race has been on blast for some time now and the Los Angeles Dodgers aim to avoid losing more ground atop the standings.
The Dodgers hope to find some success at Wrigley Field, where they'll begin a four-game series with the Cubs Thursday.
Los Angeles is two games ahead of the San Francisco Giants for the NL West lead and lost the last two portions of a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. The Dodgers were embarrassed by a 16-2 score on Wednesday, as Carlos Frias didn't even make it out of the first inning.
Frias was tagged for eight runs and 10 hits in two-thirds of an inning and Kevin Correia fared no better in relief, allowing six runs (5 earned).
"Obviously (he left) a lot of balls up in the zone and it seemed like no matter where they hit it, it was going to be a hit," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of Frias. "It was one of those outings that just didn't go well from the very beginning."
Darwin Barney homered and finished with two of LA's six hits.
The Dodgers had won eight of 10 games before the recent losses to the Rockies and are 3-3 on a 10-game road trip.
Zack Greinke will try to pitch the Dodgers back on track Thursday and he is 15-8 with a 2.64 earned run average. Greinke has won back-to-back starts and is 3-0 in his previous five outings. In Saturday's 17-0 demolition of the Giants by the bay, Greinke provided six shutout innings and allowed four hits with five K's with no walks.
Greinke has made 16 road starts this season, going 7-6, and is 4-2 with a 3.92 ERA in six career starts against the Cubs.
Meanwhile, the Cubs started a 10-game homestand by sweeping the Cincinnati Reds in three games. They won for the fourth time in five tries with Wednesday's 3-1 decision thanks to another strong start from Kyle Hendricks.
Hendricks held the Reds to a run in seven innings, while Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon each threw a scoreless innings of relief. Rondon notched his 25th save in the process.
"I came in just trying to learn and see what big league hitters and big league baseball overall is all about," Hendricks said. "I definitely learned a ton the second half of the year and was able to have success too."
Luis Valbuena, Chris Valaika and Ryan Kalish all drove in runs for the Cubs.
Chicago will host St. Louis as well on this homestand and hopes Tsuyoshi Wada can get this LA series off on a good note. Wada is 4-3 with a 3.34 ERA and 4-1 in seven starts at Wrigley Field. He is 0-2 in his last three outings and allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings of a 7-3 loss at Pittsburgh on Friday.
The Japanese left-hander faced the Dodgers for the first time in his career on Aug. 2 in a 5-2 road loss. Wada did not record a decision and surrendered a pair of runs over 5 2/3 innings.
Los Angeles dropped two of three to the Cubs at Dodger Stadium from Aug. 1-3.