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LAD@SF: Kershaw strikes out five, gives up one run

The Dodgers keep waiting for something to spark the season. At least Clayton Kershaw is on the mound Wednesday.

After losing their sixth straight game Tuesday night, falling, 5-3, to the D-backs, Kershaw takes the mound as one of the lone bright spots on a team that believes it's underachieving.

Kershaw, who has a 1.66 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 48 2/3 innings this season, has won just three games. The Dodgers are scoring just 2.43 runs per game when he starts, tied for the seventh-lowest run support among qualified starters this season.

"You're going to have streaks where you're not playing good," manager Don Mattingly said. "We have a lot of guys who have been through these stretches before, they've played long enough. At this point, everything is kind of in the rear view. Anything that's happened to this point is really just to be learned from for us."

Carl Crawford, who made two miscues in Monday's 9-2 loss to Arizona, believes the Dodgers are pressing.

"Everybody is just trying to do too much," said Crawford. "Me, trying to do too much. I probably should have played it off the hop. We all just want to do good. Everybody is trying too hard and stuff like tonight happens. We've got to relax and go out and play our game. We've got high expectations and we're definitely not playing up to what we're capable of."

Wade Miley takes the ball for the D-backs, who have dominated the Dodgers recently, winning 14 of their last 17 meetings.

Miley has followed up his strong sophomore campaign with a good beginning to the 2013 season, posting a 3.06 ERA and 30 strikeouts to 17 walks in 35 1/3 innings.

During his last start, though, he felt like he was rushing his delivery, as he allowed four runs on nine hits and three walks in five innings, taking his first loss of the season. Miley said he might have been losing velocity while letting the front of his body fly open too early.

"A lot, because you've got no lower half," he said. "Spinning off means you have no power below. So it's kind of a positive in a way. I just have to get in the bullpen and work on some things."

Dodgers: Greinke making progress
Zack Greinke threw a successful bullpen session Tuesday, though the Dodgers are still unsure when he'll be able to advance to game situations. He's been on the 15-day disabled list since April 13, when he underwent surgery after fracturing his left collarbone in a confrontation with the Padres' Carlos Quentin.

Greinke said his arm strength felt pretty good and Mattingly reported 90-mph velocity coming from the bullpen session.

D-backs: Kennedy hones mechanics
Manager Kirk Gibson said Ian Kennedy has gotten away from who he is as a pitcher. Kennedy's ERA has risen from 2.88 in his first year with the Arizona to 4.02 last to 5.19 this season.

In an effort to get back to basics, the 28-year-old righty spent time trying to find consistency in a bullpen session Tuesday.

"There's no quick fix to anything," Kennedy said. "It's just about getting back to making sure all the little points are good throughout the bullpen and not getting lazy about it."

Worth noting
• Martin Prado was out of Tuesday's lineup, but he walked as pinch-hitter in the eighth inning and is expected to start Wednesday.

• The Dodgers recalled utility man Elian Herrera from Triple-A Albuquerque on Tuesday and placed Jerry Hairston on the 15-day disabled list with a left groin strain. Herrera will likely be used in a backup outfield role.

• D-backs relievers lead the National League in strikeouts with 106. Four of them, Josh Collmenter, Heath Bell, J.J. Putz, and David Hernandez, have more strikeouts than innings.

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