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05/23/10 4:02 PM ET

Cubs need to rattle Kershaw early in opener

The Dodgers and the Cubs, resuming National League play on Tuesday, streak from opposite directions into this meeting in Wrigley Field.

The visitors come in trailing smoke from the fire that had lifted them atop the NL West, while the Cubs are just trailing, period, in the Central.

Looking to put some wind in their own sails, however, the Cubs could be running into a perfect storm in the series opener.

The top of the Chicago lineup, which on cue helped produce four first-inning runs in Sunday's 5-4 victory at Texas, lays in wait for young Dodgers lefty ace Clayton Kershaw.

Having allowed only two runs in 22 1/3 innings in three consecutive winning starts, Kershaw is on an obvious roll. Not so obvious is the fact he usually doesn't begin to "feel" it until a few batters into the game.

Within his first 15 pitches of his nine starts, opponents are batting .353 against Kershaw.

And 15 pitches into Sunday's game, the Cubs had four runs off lefty C.J. Wilson -- who had been every bit as tough for the Rangers as has Kershaw for the Dodgers.

But Kershaw won't be the only starting pitcher in Wrigley Field with some extra baggage. The Cubs' man, Ryan Dempster, is winless in his past five starts.

After leadoff man Ryan Theriot and followers Starlin Castro, Derrek Lee, Marlon Byrd and Alfonso Soriano had triggered a successful end to the Cubs' trip, manager Lou Piniella rued having won only three of the five road games.

"Truthfully, we had a chance to win all five," Piniella said. "We probably had a chance to lose a few, too. It's a nice road trip for us. It's good to win on the road against good competition, the Phillies and Texas. Now we enjoy a day off [Monday] and get ready for the Dodgers and St. Louis. There's a lot of good things we saw on this road trip and let's see if we can carry it through."

Dodgers: Anderson has mult-hit game
Garret Anderson's 2-for-4 on Sunday accounted for his first multi-hit game since last Oct. 1, when he did it with the Braves against the Nationals. ... Manny Ramirez is looking for his next homer after coming up empty in his past 47 at-bats. Wrigley Field may not be the best place for him to look: He has homered only once out of the Friendly Confines in 23 career at-bats.

Cubs: Perfect start for Silva
Carlos Silva, who is 6-0 after his win Sunday, is the second Cubs starter in 62 years to retain a perfect record six decisions into the season. Dizzy Dean began 6-0 in 1938 and Ken Holtzman won his first nine decisions in 1967. ... The other Carlos, Zambrano, will throw a simulated game on Monday on his road back into the rotation. However well that goes, he is not expected to make his return start until next weekend's series against St. Louis, at the earliest.

Worth noting
Despite a Sunday loss in the finale of their home series against the Tigers that dropped the Dodgers a game behind division-leading San Diego, they have won 12 of 14 and are still an MLB-best 16-5 in May.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.