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

The Orioles and Dodgers are ready to play two.

Rain postponed Friday's game, but the two clubs will try again Saturday as part of a day-night doubleheader at Camden Yards.

Both teams' scheduled starters for Friday -- Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu and Orioles righty Jason Hammel -- will start the opener at 1:05 p.m. ET. Los Angeles' Josh Beckett and Baltimore's Wei-Yin Chen square off in the nightcap as scheduled at 7:05 p.m.

The Orioles took the first regular-season matchup between the two squads on June 7, 2002, but have since dropped five straight to the Dodgers. Los Angeles enters Saturday having lost four in a row, however, so one of those streaks will end in Saturday's opener.

Ryu is set to make his fourth start of the season for the struggling Dodgers, who turn to a rookie who has won two consecutive starts entering his first taste of Interleague Play.

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."

Hammel, the Orioles' Opening Day starter who threw six solid innings against the Yankees on Saturday, opposes Ryu.

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. He threw at least six in each of his first three starts.

"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: Hanley shows BP power
• Shortstop Hanley Ramirez (thumb) took part in live early batting practice before the rain started Friday and showed impressive power.

"What he's been able to do has shocked all of us," manager Don Mattingly said. "Taking BP, his swing is like normal. Is he able to do that without the brace? There's still healing to be done. It seems his throwing, he still has trouble with the feel making all his throws. He asked if he could DH tonight and I couldn't hardly argue. I wouldn't mind it."

Ramirez said he hopes to be in the lineup by April 30, when the Dodgers will give away his bobblehead at Dodger Stadium.

• Los Angeles hasn't lost five straight since a seven-game losing streak last June.

Orioles: Pearce penciled in at DH
• Manager Buck Showalter again had Steve Pearce as the designated hitter before Friday's postponement, marking what would have been Pearce's second straight start at the position. Nolan Reimold, who has served as the primary designated hitter while nursing a minor hamstring injury, was slated to start in left field in place of Nate McLouth.

Orioles designated hitters are 4-for-51 (.078) this season with two homers and three RBIs. Pearce improved those numbers Thursday, going 2-for-4 with a two-run homer.

"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."

• Baltimore's 3-4-5 hitters are batting .345 with 14 doubles, 12 home runs and 43 RBIs.

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.

• Although Los Angeles has dominated Baltimore in regular-season play, the Orioles won the matchup that really matters, sweeping the Dodgers to win the 1966 World Series.

• Gonzalez's .386 career average against the Orioles is the highest all-time among players with at least 150 plate appearances. Comments