Looking to earn a win in their weekend series against the first-place Brewers, the Dodgers will send their most reliable arm to the mound Sunday when Clayton Kershaw takes the bump at Miller Park.
Kershaw, the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner, has a 1.82 ERA this season, including a 1.01 mark over his past 10 starts. He hasn't lost since May 28.
While Kershaw has been a steady presence for most of the season, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly noted on Saturday that he's been encouraged with the recent play of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who has hit home runs in the first two games of this series.
"His swing is so good you don't notice when he's not hitting," Mattingly said. "Guys like him, it's a feel thing. I think the shifts they were using against him, he tinkers with his swing and he was tinkering too much. The danger is that if you do it enough, you do it three or four times and it doesn't work, you're lost and you've got to get back to square one, and that's what happened."
The Brewers will counter with rookie Jimmy Nelson, who's had three straight quality starts since a rough outing against St. Louis in his first start after joining the Milwaukee rotation in July. So far he's faced off against some impressive starters -- Adam Wainwright, Homer Bailey, Jacob deGrom and Tim Lincecum were his first four opponents -- and things won't get much easier as he's projected to face Kershaw in his next two starts.
Is Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke concerned about the young pitcher going up against the ace?
"No. I think Jimmy, he's at a point where he wants to continue to do better than what he's been doing," Roenicke said. "He's been doing fine. His outings, he's been one inning or one batter away from doing really well. I think his concern is more that than worrying about who he's facing."
Dodgers: Hanley likely headed to DL with oblique injury
Still awaiting results of an MRI, the Dodgers on Saturday seemed resigned to the fact that Hanley Ramirez will require a stint on the disabled list due to a right oblique injury.
Mattingly said the pregame injury that forced Ramirez from Friday night's game "doesn't sound good." The MRI was scheduled in the late afternoon, apparently only to confirm the original diagnosis.
Ramirez, eligible for free agency after this season, has been determined to stay off the disabled list this year despite shoulder and calf injuries. Nonetheless, he has missed 25 starts.
Brewers: Injured Garza exercising, not throwing
One week after losing Matt Garza to a rib-cage injury, Roenicke said he's operating under the assumption that Garza will spend only the minimum 15 days on the disabled list.
"That's what I'm going off of right now," Roenicke said. "Until something happens where I'm led to believe that's not the case, that's my assumption."
Whether that assumption is realistic depends on Garza's progress in the coming days. He has yet to throw a baseball since feeling a muscle grab on the next-to-last pitch of his Aug. 3 start in St. Louis.
• TBS will carry Sunday's game. The telecast will be available in the Dodgers' broadcast territory.
• The Dodgers lead the Majors with a .590 winning percentage on the road (36-25).
• At 16-6, the Brewers own the best record of any NL team against the NL West this season.
• Aramis Ramirez enters Sunday with an 11-game hitting streak.
Caitlin Swieca is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.