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Dodgers-Pirates Preview

The last time the Los Angeles Dodgers dropped consecutive games, Alex Wood was on the mound, and he endured the worst outing of his special season.

Wood will be on the mound Monday night in the opener of a four-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park when the Dodgers look to rebound from a rare loss.

Wood is 14-1 with a 2.30 ERA in 21 appearances (19 starts) this season. The one loss occurred July 21, when the Dodgers were handed a 12-3 setback by the Braves.

The left-hander allowed season worsts of nine runs (seven earned) and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings against Atlanta. Wood's rough outing occurred after Los Angeles was handed a 6-3 loss by the Braves the previous game, and at the time, it marked the first time the Dodgers dropped consecutive games since June 5-7.

Los Angeles saw its six-game winning streak snapped when it mustered only two hits Sunday in a 6-1 loss at Detroit. Still, to show how much the Dodgers have been rolling, it was only their 10th loss in 62 games since June 7 and their fourth defeat in the past 25 games.

About the only highlight in a rare quiet showing for Los Angeles on Sunday was Curtis Granderson hitting a home run in his second game with the team.

"Well, it's good to go ahead and try to put us in a situation, at that point, to break up the no-hitter, to give us the lead," Granderson said of his sixth-inning shot against Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander that broke a scoreless tie. "But to not get enough to help this team win tonight, I'm a little dissatisfied because you want to put yourself in a situation where we could earn the sweep here."

The Dodgers hope not to experience dissatisfaction when Wood makes his second attempt for a 15th victory. Wood hopes to join Clayton Kershaw with 15 wins, which would mark the eighth time two left-handers won at least 15 games in the same season in franchise history.

The last instance was 1982, when Jerry Reuss and Fernando Valenzuela did it.

Wood's first attempt to get No. 15 occurred Tuesday in Los Angeles when he allowed a run and six hits in seven innings against the White Sox. He did not get a decision when the Dodgers scored five times in the eighth inning for a 6-1 victory over Chicago.

Wood only threw 79 pitches and gave up a home run to Tim Anderson on the first pitch of the game.

"It surprised me a little bit how he turned and burned on that to start the game," Wood said. "After that, we settled down and made some quality pitches."

Wood is 6-0 with a 1.72 ERA in nine road starts this season. Opponents are hitting .201 off him in those starts.

He is 2-2 with a 2.61 ERA in seven games (six starts) against Pittsburgh. He last faced the Pirates on May 8 at Dodger Stadium, allowing two hits in five scoreless innings while striking out 11.

Gerrit Cole (10-8, 4.04 ERA) takes the mound for Pittsburgh and looks to continue his success of late. Cole is 7-2 with a 3.26 ERA in his past 12 starts, though he allowed four runs in six innings in a no-decision at Milwaukee on Wednesday.

Cole's start was even more disappointing since he allowed three homers and unraveled after getting an early four-run lead.

"It's frustrating to get spotted that and not be able to hold it," Cole said. "That's the sour taste in my mouth right now."

Cole's last start was part of a six-game losing streak that followed a stretch of seven Pittsburgh wins in nine games. The Pirates stopped their skid Saturday with a 6-4 win over the Cardinals and followed it up Sunday with a 6-3 win over St. Louis in Williamsport, Pa.

Josh Bell hit a two-run homer and drove in four RBI to continue his hot streak. In his past 11 games, Bell is hitting .394 (13-for-33) with two homers and 13 RBI.

Cole is 3-1 with a 5.22 ERA in five career starts against the Dodgers. He allowed six runs in 4 1/3 innings in a loss at Los Angeles on Aug. 13, 2016.

The Dodgers are 8-1 in the past nine meetings against the Pirates. The series will feature the top two National League rookies in RBI. Los Angeles' Cody Bellinger has 79 RBI in 101 games, though he did not play Sunday due to a sprained right ankle. Bell has 72 RBI in 122 games.