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Dodgers Look To Get Their Groove Back

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The Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs lather up the sunscreen for a not-too-common Saturday-day game, in their third contest in a series of four. A win would give the Dodgers their third in a row, and perhaps the momentum which Dodgers manager Joe Torre seeks.

The Dodgers pitch knuckleballer Charlie Haeger in his second outing for the big club. Last Monday, in his first, he lost a tough contest to the Cardinals. His seven innings of five-hit ball were good enough to earn praise from his boss.

“The other day he was terrific,” said Torre.

Unfortunately two of Haeger’s allowed hits were homeruns, the difference in the 3-2 defeat.

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Torre hopes Haeger’s able to give the club another strong outing so as to not over-tax the bullpen. “Early on if you see him throw a lot of strikes it sort of relaxes you a little bit," he said.

The Dodgers shake-up the starting lineup for today’s contest. Replacing Andre Ethier in right field is recent bobblehead-earner Matt Kemp. Filling Kemp’s usual post in center is a man who earns some of the loudest ovations from the Dodger faithful, Juan Pierre, who knocked a pinch hit last night. Mark Loretta takes over for James Loney at first base.

In a homecoming, the Cubs throw Ted Lilly (9-7, 3.42) from Torrance. His last victory was the 100th of his career.

ThinkCure! Weekend continues. In the first day of the second annual ThinkCure! Radiotelewebethon, over $160,000 was raised for the Dodgers’ cancer-combating charity. Contributions included $25,000 by Japanese-born pitcher Hiroki Kuroda who lost both of his parents to cancer. The first-day total was a record $90,000 over last year’s first day.

And Whatnot

The Dodgers lead the second place Colorado Rockies by 4.5 games and the rival San Francisco Giants by 5.5.

After taking a hit-ball to the head, Torre says that Kuroda is relieved to be placed on the disabled list. Now he isn't "trying to think about getting better to pitch. Getting better period is first thing.”

Chicago Cubs (61-59)

  1. Sam Fuld, LF
  2. Milton Bradley, RF
  3. Derrek Lee, 1B
  4. Aramis Ramirez, 3B
  5. Kosuke Fukudome, CF
  6. Jeff Baker, 2B
  7. Geovany Soto, C
  8. Aaron Miles, SS
  9. Ted Lilly, P

Los Angeles Dodgers (73-50)

  1. Rafael Furcal, SS
  2. Juan Pierre, CF
  3. Manny Ramirez, LF
  4. Casey Blake, 3B
  5. Matt Kemp, RF
  6. Orlando Hudson, B
  7. Mark Loretta, 1B
  8. Brad Ausmus, C
  9. Charlie Haeger, P

Who will win today's contest: Dodgers or Cubs? Comment Below!