(Sports Network) - With hopes of a National League West title starting to fade away, the Los Angeles Dodgers shift their attention to the wild card race as they begin a quick two-game set with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Dodgers, though, have health issues going into Tuesday's opener, most importantly to scheduled starter Clayton Kershaw.
Kershaw was slated to pitch on Sunday against the San Francisco Giants, but was scratched due to a sore hip. Kershaw got a cortisone shot on Saturday and said he felt good enough to pitch on Sunday. However, manager Don Mattingly and the medical staff opted to rest him.
"It just came on," Kershaw told the Dodgers' website on Sunday. "Tweaked it somehow. It was enough that I wanted to get it looked at, make sure it's nothing serious. It feels better today."
Mattingly started Joe Blanton in Kershaw's place on Sunday, but the righty got no help in a 4-0 loss. Blanton yielded all four runs over 5 1/3 innings.
With the setback, the Dodgers trail the first-place Giants by five games in the NL West and enter play on Tuesday a game behind the league's second wild card spot.
Sunday's game was also the second in a row that Matt Kemp missed with a left shoulder. Kemp, who is hitting .315 in 85 games with 18 homers and 56 RBI, is also hoping to return to action tonight.
So is Kershaw, who has not allowed more than three runs in any of his last eight starts. The lefty is 5-2 in that span, one that began with a five-hit shutout of the Giants.
Kershaw did not get a decision last time out on Tuesday versus the San Diego Padres as he yielded a run on five hits and three walks over seven innings. The 24-year-old also fanned nine in his team's eventual 6-3 loss, leaving Kershaw 12-8 with a 2.79 earned run average in 29 starts this season.
Kershaw is 1-2 with a 3.44 ERA in three starts versus the Diamondbacks this season and 7-4 with a 2.45 ERA in 13 lifetime encounters.
Arizona's Ian Kennedy is looking to finish the season strong as he is just 12-11 with a 4.39 ERA in 28 starts this season after winning 21 games in 2011.
Kennedy takes the hill tonight having struggled in two starts sandwiched around a victory over the Dodgers.
The right-hander was tagged for six runs and three homers in a setback to the Padres on Aug. 25, but rebounded to throw 6 1/3 scoreless frames in a win at Los Angeles on Aug. 30.
Kennedy did not factor into a start at the Giants on Tuesday, but allowed five runs and seven hits over 5 2/3 frames.
The 27-year-old is 4-2 with a 3.80 ERA lifetime against the Dodgers.
Arizona enters play six games back in the wild card race and lost an 8-2 game to San Diego on Sunday.
Patrick Corbin took the loss, giving up three runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings. While in the game, he received just one run of support, which came in the third inning from an RBI groundout by Jason Kubel.
The Diamondbacks have won eight of their past 10 versus the Dodgers, but have won just four of seven against them at home this season.