Hiroki Kuroda has spent the last three weeks on the disabled list with tendonitis in his shoulder, after barely making it through two innings against San Diego on Jun. 12.
His return to the active roster with a start tonight, Jul. 2, was successful, as he pitched seven scoreless innings against the Astros in Houston.
The Dodgers’ bats helped out, scoring all four of their runs by the fifth. The single run, a homer by Houston’s Carlos Lee, for the Astros was given up by Dodger reliever Cory Wade.
Matt Kemp began the game with a triple in the leadoff spot, followed by an RBI double by Jeff Kent.
Kent, who had two doubles on the night, brought his season total up to 14 2B and 38 RBI.
Andre Ethier, who has struggled at the plate in recent games, had three hits, including a home run that was shot 438 feet over the outfield wall. In his last 10 games, Ethier had only had four hits and one home run, dating back to the start of the Cleveland home series.
Kuroda’s success comes as a relief after fellow youngster, Clayton Kershaw has underperformed and been sent on options back to the Minor Leagues.
Kershaw was 0-2 with a 4.42 ERA after eight starts with the Dodgers thus far in the 2008 season.
Kuroda, who was signed last winter to a three-year $35.3 million contract, is 4-6 with a 3.73 ERA after 15 starts so far this season.
In other news, unlike Kuroda, Rafael Furcal has not made progress in his recovery and will undergo surgery on his back on Thursday, Jul. 3.