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SD@LAD: Ethier singles, extends his hit streak to 27

Clayton Kershaw's past three starts haven't produced the desired results the Dodgers expect from their young ace.

The 23-year-old left-hander has given up 12 runs in his past three outings, but will look to rebound in Monday's series opener against James Russell (1-3, 8.31 ERA) and the Cubs. In two career starts against Chicago, Kershaw has allowed only two earned runs in 14 innings (1.29 ERA).

Kershaw (2-3, 3.52 ERA) seemed to break out of his funk in his last start, allowing only two runs through the first five innings. In the sixth, however, he gave up a two-spot that left him second-guessing himself afterward.

"A couple pitches I'd like to have back, but if I had to do it over again, I'd try a different pitch and a different location," Kershaw said. "I gave that [pitch] four times in a row. You can always second-guess yourself. He could have hit it to second base and gotten a double play. Just one of those things."

Opposing Kershaw is Russell, who has had a rough go of things as he tries to give the Cubs quality outings from the rotation. And Russell will have to deal with Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier, who has a 27-game hitting streak and is four shy of Willie Davis' club-record 31-game streak.

Russell has lost his past two starts, failing to get out of the fifth inning and giving up three home runs in each. In his last start against the Rockies, Russell allowed four runs on five hits while also walking three.

After that outing, Cubs manager Mike Quade wasn't sure if he would give Russell another start, but on Sunday, he announced the 25-year-old left-hander would get another crack at it. Quade said he's hoping Russell will be able to go deeper into the game Monday.

"That'd be great. He's got enough pitches under his belt to do that, so we'll see," Quade said. "We're in really good shape. All three guys at the back end of the bullpen have had rest now. We continue to stay in pretty shape, because the bullpen does a good job."

Worth noting
Starlin Castro's 40 hits in April tied the Major League record for the most April hits by a player 21 years old or younger. Alex Rodriguez also had 40 hits in 1997.

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