After three back-breaking losses against Philadelphia this past week at the Stadium, the Dodgers’ realistic goal is to finish at .500.
Before that series with the hard-charging Phillies (78-41) there was a slight glimmer of hope that the playoffs were possible.
Not any more, but the Dodgers (55-64) did sweep lowly Houston over the weekend as Hiroki Kuroda tossed a five-hitter over seven innings in Sunday’s 7-0 thumping.
Kuroda (8-14) lowered his earned-run average to 2.88 and struck out six with one walk.
Rookie Justin Sellers clubbed a three-run homer during a four-run sixth, Matt Kemp (two hits and two runs) lashed a solo shot (28th) in the third and has 89 runs batted in, and Dioner Navarro hit a two-run homer in the second.
Clayton Kershaw continued to impress as the Blue Crew left-hander blitzed the Astros 6-1 on Saturday.
Over eight innings, Kershaw (14-5) walked one, fanned nine, and gave up six hits with one run (earned).
Kemp’s two-run bomb in the first jump-started the offense, and it became 4-0 during a two-run fifth as Casey Blake lifted a sacrifice fly.
Juan Rivera’s RBI single in the seventh scored Blake (single) as the lead expanded to 6-0.
Kemp looped an RBI hit in the 10th that brought home Blake, who led off with a double as the Dodgers edged Houston 1-0 on Friday.
Philadelphia found itself in a 6-0 hole after three innings in large part because Rivera tagged a three-run homer in the first, but Chad Billingsley was pushed around for seven hits, five runs (two earned) in four and one-third innings as the Phils rallied for a 9-8 triumph on Wednesday.
The Phillies scored three runs in the fourth, two in the fifth, and four in the sixth. Recently-acquired Hunter Pence lined a two-run homer in the fourth, and Ryan Howard added a two-run rocket in the sixth.
Cliff Lee (12-7) homered in the seventh inning during Tuesday’s 2-1 win by the Phillies, and also delivered an eight-inning shutout with four hits, two walks and 10 strikeouts.
Jimmy Rollins cracked a run-scoring double in the third off Ted Lilly (7-12), who went eight frames and allowed two runs (earned) with six hits.
Roy Halladay (15-4) was measured for nine hits and one run (earned) in six and one-third innings of Monday’s 5-3 win with Shane Victorino (three hits and three runs) slugging a solo homer, and Howard (two hits) driving in a pair.