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Hiroki Kuroda gives Dodgers that rare 2010 feat: fourth consecutive strong start by rotation in 6-3 win

May 12, 2010 | 10:07 pm
And that’s what happens when the Dodgers get strong starting pitching.

More often than not, they win.

They are going to score their share of runs. Despite the early shakes, they’re going to be at least adequate defensively. And despite some continued bumps, the bullpen should still emerge as one of the National League’s best.

It’s going to come down to starting pitching. When the Dodgers get a good starting outing, you have to like their chances.

They received a fourth consecutive strong start for the first time this season on Wednesday, and not so coincidentally, it led to their fourth consecutive victory.

This time it was Hiroki Kuroda pitching superbly to lead the Dodgers to a 6-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

He held Arizona to three runs (two earned) on six hits and one walk in 7 1/3 innings. He struck out nine.

Kuroda (4-1) has been the Dodgers' most consistent starter, and Wednesday he lowered his earned-run average to 2.66.

He followed another impressive outing by rookie John Ely Tuesday, a pretty good start by Chad Billingsley on Monday and an absolutely excellent performance by Clayton Kershaw on Sunday.

Together the four have averaged 6 2/3 innings, 4.25 hits, 1.25 runs, two walks and 7.75 strikeouts over the last four starts. They’ve combined for a 2.02 ERA in that span.

A decent hitting team gets pitching like that, it’s normally going to win. Heck, a poor hitting team is normally going to win.

Of course, things could easily change when the Dodgers resume their trip Friday in San Diego and send out recycled Ramon Ortiz (1-1, 5.16 ERA) for his first start of the year.

But it should be clear the key to this team: If they get good starting pitching, they will yet emerge as a contender.

__ Steve Dilbeck