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ARI@LAD: Kershaw strikes out four over seven innings

Extremely inconsistent through the first month and a half of the season, the Dodgers have had little to cheer about.

Sitting in last place in the National League West with a record of 15-22, Los Angeles is just 2-5 on its current nine-game homestand.

"Just our team in general -- offensively, our defense at times has let us down, at times our starting pitching hasn't gotten us very far down the road, at times our bullpen has let us down," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "We're trying to work out all facets of what we're doing."

While the team took a 6-2 loss to the Nationals on Monday, the Dodgers will try to ride the success of Clayton Kershaw this season at Dodger Stadium into Tuesday's matchup.

The left-hander is 3-1 with a 0.99 ERA in five starts at home this year. Allowing just two runs (one earned) on five hits in seven innings Wednesday at Chavez Ravine, Kershaw took the no-decision in a 3-2 loss to the D-backs.

Striking out 56 batters in just 55 2/3 innings so far this year, Kershaw has allowed three earned runs or fewer in 20 consecutive starts.

He'll be up against fellow workhorse Dan Haren, who is looking for his fourth straight win. In his last three outings, Haren has combined to allow just seven runs in 20 innings pitched.

He allowed four runs on nine hits in six innings Thursday against the Tigers, improving to 4-3 on the season with a 5.17 ERA.

While Haren felt he could have pitched better in the outing, he also struck out three and walked just one batter.

"I was searching for it all game. I was able to wiggle myself through," Haren said. "It's funny how it works. I held the one through four hitters in check, and then the bottom of the lineup killed me."

Haren will match up against Kershaw for just the second time in his career. In that first start with the D-backs on August 14, 2009, Haren allowed one run in eight innings for the win.

Nationals: Harper exits game
Right fielder Bryce Harper left Monday's game against the Dodgers in the fifth inning after crashing into the right-field wall.

Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis hit the ball to right field when Harper lost sight of it. As the ball hit the bottom of the wall, Harper crashed into it face-first and was shaken up on the play.

Harper was on the ground for several minutes as manager Davey Johnson, center fielder Denard Span and head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz came to his aid. By the time he got up to leave the game, blood was seen under Harper's chin. He ended up needing 11 stitches in his chin, in addition to suffering a jammed left shoulder.

Roger Bernadina replaced Harper in right field.

Dodgers: Greinke's next start undecided
While Zack Greinke wants to pitch for the Dodgers on Wednesday, the team is still concerned that the right-hander could reinjure his left collarbone in a collision.

While he will pitch Wednesday, Los Angeles is still deciding whether Greinke will start at Dodger Stadium against the Nationals or in the Minor Leagues.

"I think it's just risk-reward at this point," Mattingly said before Monday's series opener against the Nationals. "Basically making sure everyone is OK with it."

If the Dodgers decide Greinke is not ready to be activated from the disabled list, rookie Matt Magill would start Wednesday.

Worth noting
• Nats right fielder Jayson Werth most likely will have a rehab assignment with Class A Potomac this week before joining the big league club this weekend in San Diego. Werth is eligible to come off the disabled list Saturday. Werth is on the disabled list because of a slight right hamstring strain, which he hurt against the Braves last month.

• Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, catcher A.J. Ellis and closer Brandon League visited Dorris Place Elementary School on Monday afternoon in Los Angeles to distribute glasses to students. Comments