CINCINNATI -- For a team trying its best to stay in contention, the schedule has done the Reds no favors.

For the start of a seven-day, six-game road trip, the Reds will begin a three-game series on Monday vs. the Dodgers, who have the best record in the Majors. After that will be three day games vs. the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

The challenge doesn't stop there because the Reds were 1-7 vs. Los Angeles last season, including six straight losses.

And that's not all. Cincinnati has not won a game at Dodger Stadium since 2005 and owns an 0-9 record in Chavez Ravine the past three seasons.

"It's OK. The law of averages is on our side," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

The last time the Reds won a game at Dodger Stadium was July 28, 2005, when Brandon Claussen earned a 6-1 victory.

The Reds enter the trip in fifth place, 5 1/2 games behind the first-place Cardinals in the National League Central, and are eagerly trying to keep themselves in a tight division race.

West Coast games in general haven't been kind to the Reds in recent years. They are 11-28 over the past four seasons while playing in Pacific Time.

Reds starter Micah Owings will be pitching on 10 days' rest, his last start coming before the All-Star break on July 9 vs. the Phillies. Owings' layoff doesn't compare to the one of his counterpart. Dodgers starter Jason Schmidt hasn't pitched in the Major Leagues since June 16, 2007. His start comes following two shoulder surgeries and two years of rehab.

Baker grew up in Riverside, Calif., which is about 50 miles from Los Angeles. He also played for the Dodgers from 1976-83 and played in three World Series.

"I haven't many fond memories there as a manager of the Reds," Baker said. "We're going to try and recapture some of those memories when I was there as a player. I played there a long time. It's always fun to go back home. We just have to rise to the occasion. They beat us pretty good last year. We have some work to do when we get out there."

Pitching matchup
CIN: RHP Micah Owings (6-9, 4.94 ERA)
In his last start, Owings allowed seven earned runs and eight hits over 4 1/3 innings with four walks and one strikeout as the Reds dropped a 9-6 defeat to the Phillies. He was given leads of 3-0 and 6-4 and was unable to hold it.

LAD: RHP Jason Schmidt (1-4, 6.31 ERA in 2007)
Schmidt returns to the mound as the Dodgers need a fifth starter and are curious to see if he has anything left. He's made five consecutive starts on regular rest in the Minor Leagues, the longest he's gone without interruption.

Reds notes
Willy Taveras was 2-for-4 with a run scored and a walk on Sunday. Taveras has a six-game hitting streak in which he's 10-for-27 (.370). He's hit safely in 15 of his past 18 games. ... Closer Francisco Cordero has allowed one hit over his past eight appearances.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• FS-O

On radio
• WLW 700

Up next
• Tuesday: Reds (Homer Bailey, 1-1, 6.43) at Dodgers (Randy Wolf, 4-4, 3.51), 10:10 p.m. ET
• Wednesday: Reds (Bronson Arroyo, 10-8, 5.07) at Dodgers (Chad Billingsley, 9-5, 3.76), 10:10 p.m. ET
• Thursday: Off-day