It's been three weeks since the Los Angeles Dodgers won back-to-back games or recorded a series victory.
With Trevor Bauer on the mound and facing struggling Jose Quintana, the visiting Dodgers might have a good chance to achieve both in the decisive series finale against the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday at Anaheim, Calif.
After nearly squandering a 13-run lead before pulling out a 14-11 victory over the Angels on Saturday, the Dodgers snapped a four-game losing streak with just their fifth win in 19 games. They last posted back-to-back victories during an eight-game winning streak from April 9-17.
That run concluded while taking two of three at San Diego from April 16-18.
However, the Dodgers should have some momentum after belting out 17 hits and getting five shutout innings from Clayton Kershaw on Saturday. Having Bauer (3-1, 2.44 ERA) on the mound helps, even though he lasted a season-low 4 1/3 innings while giving up one run on four hits while issuing four walks and striking out seven in a no-decision against the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday.
Bauer feels he needs to be better, whether the results are positive or not.
"Just doing the little things you can control as a player," he told the Dodgers' official website.
"It's one of those things ... where we don't seem to be able to put together a complete game."
The right-hander has been stellar against the Angels, going 4-0 with a 2.70 ERA in five career starts. However, he has not faced them since 2017 while pitching for the Cleveland Indians.
He'll face an Angels club on Sunday that's totaled 20 runs over the past two nights and has a chance to win back-to-back games for the first time since April 25-26. They haven't won a series since taking two of three at Texas from April 26-28.
However, the Angels likely need to see better results from Quintana (0-3, 10.59 ERA) to make both happen again. The veteran left-hander has allowed five runs and six hits in each of his last two starts that spanned seven total innings.
Quintana has lasted longer than 3 2/3 innings just once in his five starts, and that was his limit while striking out a season-high nine during the 7-3 loss to Tampa Bay on Monday.
Despite his overall body of work, Quintana is trying to remain positive -- at least on the surface.
"Things are going to be good. It's going to be really soon," Quintana said.
"It's bad, but my confidence is up."
Including the postseason, Quintana is 1-2 with a 3.52 ERA in seven starts against the Dodgers, whom he last faced in June 2019. Chris Taylor is 6-for-14 with three doubles versus Quintana, while Mookie Betts is 5-for-14 with two doubles and a homer against him.
Betts, who had four RBIs on Saturday, is batting .324 over his past nine games.
Angels star Mike Trout is 3-for-6 in this series, but 3-for-11 with five strikeouts and four walks against Bauer. Jared Walsh has never faced Bauer, but had two hits with three RBIs for the Angels on Saturday after going 2-for-17 in his previous five games.
--Field Level Media