He'll take the Dodger Stadium mound Wednesday against the Mets, who have won three straight without injured All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes, hoping last week wasn't an aberration.
With the Dodgers pounding out 13 hits for Kuroda in that victory, the right-hander dazzled through seven innings of just three-hit ball and collected a win for the first time since May 17.
"My approach to pitching is the same no matter what the situation is," Kuroda said after the game. "I don't think my pitching style changed."
While he's thrown 11 quality starts in 17 of his outings this season, to find success against the Mets, Kuroda (6-9, 2.90 ERA) will have to limit two-out runs.
Tacking on two such runs in Tuesday night's game, including a two-run home run by Carlos Beltran in the fifth inning, the Mets lead the National League in two-out runs with 162.
"That's pretty impressive, because the one thing we said during our slide was that we didn't get any two-out hits to drive in runs," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "So we're starting to do a better job of situational hitting with two outs."
Mets starter Jon Niese (7-7, 3.72 ERA) will try to benefit from such run production and toss his 11th quality start of the season. Friday against the Yankees, he surrendered three runs -- all of which came in the first inning -- on a season-high nine hits in six innings to take the loss. However, since May 18, the left-hander is 5-3 with a 2.59 ERA.
"Obviously, I threw too many fastballs right away," Niese said after the loss. "Before I could change it up, the damage was done."
Mets: Reyes still out of lineup
Not attempting to run on Tuesday as originally expected, Reyes was limited to riding a stationary bike, walking on a treadmill and taking batting practice.
"It's better than yesterday," Reyes said of his strained left hamstring. "But it's still not quite where it needs to be."
With no clear idea of when Reyes will return, the team will still not place him on the disabled list as long as there is a chance he could play in the team's weekend series in San Francisco.
"If I thought for one second he could play Friday or Saturday, I'd probably ride the wave," Collins said. "Our club has responded. We've got six games left before the All-Star break, and if I've got to ride it out for a couple more days, I have no problem with that."
Dodgers: Garland to have surgery
Starting pitcher Jon Garland will undergo surgery Monday on his right shoulder and will be out the rest of the season.
Trainer Stan Conte said doctors will perform at least a cleanup, as MRIs have long indicated that Garland has been pitching with labrum and rotator cuff damage. Conte said Dr. Neal ElAttrache indicated a six-month recovery is expected, unless more serious damage is found. Garland also had a second opinion by Angels team doctor Lewis Yocum.
"Shoulder surgery for a Major League pitcher is serious stuff," said Conte. "He tried rest and therapy and couldn't progress without pain. That gave us no choice. Jon has had a great career staying off the DL, but there's a lot of mileage on that shoulder."
Feeling under the weather, Andre Ethier, one of five National League candidates for the 2011 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint, was out of the starting lineup for Tuesday's game against the Mets with a fever.
Collins said he is leaning toward permanently pairing Mike Pelfrey with catcher Ronny Paulino. Pelfrey had a 3.71 ERA in 10 starts with Paulino prior to Tuesday's game and a 9.15 mark in five games with Josh Thole.
Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey pushed back his routine between-starts bullpen session to Wednesday but does not expect his sore left glute to prevent him from making his next start on Friday. Dickey threw off flat ground Tuesday and said he did not feel "anything alarming."
With a change in scoring from Friday night's Dodgers-Angels game, Dee Gordon became the first Dodger in 83 years to be credited with steals of second, third and home in the same inning, according to Elias.