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Dodgers' rotation shakeup is 'matchup-based'

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers are almost at the battery-recharge stage of the schedule as starting pitchers will get plenty of rest next week.

Clayton Kershaw and Ross Stripling are scheduled for six days of rest between starts, while Kenta Maeda will get a whopping seven before he pitches again.

The Dodgers are headed out on an interleague road trip following the conclusion of the current home series against the San Diego Padres. A brief two-game set Tuesday and Wednesday at Tampa Bay will be bookended by days off Monday and Thursday.

So the coaching staff used the off-days to manipulate the rotation. Scott Kazmir will take his regular turn in the rotation Tuesday at Tampa, with an extra day of rest. But Alex Wood will be moved into the series against the Rays, staying on his regular four days of rest after pitching well Friday against the Padres.

Maeda will be moved all the way to the series opener next Friday at Toronto. The right-hander last pitched Thursday against the Marlins, taking the first loss of his career while allowing four runs. He entered having given up just one run over his first four big league starts.

“For us, it’s just more matchup-based,” manager Dave Roberts said. “You see these [right-handed hitters] in Toronto where I think Kenta matches up well with those guys.”

It doesn’t hurt that for at least one time through the rotation, it puts Maeda on a schedule more like what he was used to in his native Japan, where starters typically work just once a week. Maeda pitched the past eight seasons for Hiroshima.

For Kershaw, meanwhile, it will be the 26th time he has started a game on six or more days of rest. He has a .722 win percentage and a 1.75 ERA in his previous 25 outings in that scenario. On five days of rest, Kershaw has a .677 win percentage and 2.65 ERA. On his typical four days of rest, he has a .656 win percentage and a 2.41 ERA.