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LAD@ARI: Ryu strikes out nine over six-plus frames

Forgive the Dodgers and Orioles if they were not too excited to see this weekend's Interleague series pop up on the schedule.

Since its inception in 1997, Interleague Play has not been kind to either club. The Orioles have posted a 126-157 record, the worst in the American League. Los Angeles' 115-139 mark is only slightly better.

The squads meet for the first of three Friday night with left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu set to make his fourth start of the season for the struggling Dodgers, who have lost four straight. The rookie has won two starts in a row and is averaging more than a strikeout per inning on the year.

Coming off a disheartening three-game sweep at the hands of San Diego, Los Angeles will need Ryu to continue to be a reliable part of its rotation. His slider has seen considerable improvement since Spring Training, allowing Ryu to use his out pitch -- the changeup -- a bit more frequently.

"It's improved over the last couple of games," Ryu said of the slider. "I'm utilizing it more, especially against righties. I'm just getting into shape the way I would in Korea. Back to my normal form."

Opposing Ryu is Orioles Opening Day starter Jason Hammel, who is coming off six solid innings against the Yankees on Saturday.

Hammel will look to go deeper in the game, an area where the Orioles' starters have struggled over the past few contests. Prior to the season, Hammel said his goal was to reach 200 innings as a starter.

"I feel great," Hammel said. "I'm doing the same routine and just making sure I stay on top of the smaller things with a little more treatment or icing when necessary."

Dodgers: Capuano to DL
The Dodgers placed left-hander Chris Capuano on the disabled list with a left calf strain and recalled catcher Tim Federowicz in his place Wednesday.

Ted Lilly, who has made three Minor League rehab starts this season, will most likely be activated for the start Wednesday against the Mets.

With Federowicz available to back up A.J. Ellis, manager Don Mattingly is now free to use backup catcher Ramon Hernandez as the designated hitter this weekend. Hernandez is a career 9-for-19 with five doubles against Hammel.

Orioles: Pearce penciled in at DH
Manager Buck Showalter inserted Steve Pearce as the designated hitter for Thursday's series finale against Tampa Bay. Nolan Reimold, who has served as the primary designated hitter while nursing a minor hamstring injury, started in left field in place of Nate McLouth.

Orioles designated hitters were 3-for-47 (.064) this season entering Thursday's game against the Rays, with only one homer and one RBI.

However, Pearce finished Thursday's game going 2-for-4 with a two-run home run in the seventh inning.

"Stevie knows what's going on, trying to find a way to contribute against guys like [David] Price and [Yankees pitcher CC] Sabathia," Showalter said. "It's hard to do, but he's capable. He's done it in the past."

Worth noting

• Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is hitting just .207 in his career against Hammel with six strikeouts. Matt Kemp has seen similar struggles with a .227 average and five K's.

• The Dodgers are 1-for-19 with the bases loaded this season.

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