Play It Forward: July 8-14 — How hot will it be in Phoenix this week? Ian Kennedy’s beard may be the best indicator

The events as they lay out in the sun on your sports calendar:


A young Diamondbacks fan, left, and Dodgers fan play fight during the Dodgers'  game against Arizona on  June 12 at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

A young Diamondbacks fan, left, and Dodgers fan play fight during the Dodgers’ game against Arizona on June 12 at Dodger Stadium. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

MLB: DODGERS at ARIZONA, 6:40 p.m., Prime:
Put up your dukes: The NL West winner won’t be decided on this last week before the All-Star break, but it could have been a lost cause for the Dodgers until their recent surge and continued opportunity to make up a lot of ground quickly. Goodness gracious, the Dodgers could even be above .500 when this stretch is over in which they’ll have played 20 divisional contests in a 24-game period between June 20 and July 14. Check the standings: On June 22, the Dodgers were 9 1/2 back of the first-place D’backs. As of July 1, the gap was just 3 ½ games.
PHP4E643310BA900The opportunity in Phoenix to pull the roof over the D’backs’ eyes will include a re- introduction to pitcher Ian Kennedy in the second of the three-game series. The former USC star with the scary red beard (3-4, 5.16 ERA with two losses against the Dodgers this season already) was the focal point of the recent backyard brawl at Dodger Stadium when he plunked Yasiel Puig in the nose, then nailed Zack Greinke in the helmet. For all that, just a 10-game suspension where he only missed two starts. Who’s got the target on their back this time around? Greinke, who has already touched off two benches-clearing brawls after hitting batters, is scheduled to pitch in the opener to set the tone.
The rest of the series:
Tuesday at 6:40 p.m, Channel 9
Wednesday at 6:40 p.m., Prime



Albert Pujols’ lifetime marks hitting at Wrigley Field: 26 homers and 17 doubles with 67 RBIs in 86 games as a visiting member of the Cardinals, including a meager .298 average. Bring on that Samardzija kid and see what happens (he’s set to pitch Wednesday).
The rest of the series:
Wednesday, 5:05 p.m., FSW


MLB: DODGERS vs. COLORADO, Dodger Stadium, 7:10 p.m., Prime:
After their nine-game road trip ends, the Dodgers have four more against the Rockies to finish the unofficial first half – this, coming off having won two of three in Colorado last week. The highlight to that series for Dodgers fans — an Adrian Gonzalez bobble head for the opener, fireworks on Friday, an outdoor viewing of the movie “42” on the new digital message boards after Saturday’s game, and a Puig T-shirt giveaway on Sunday.
The rest of the series:
Friday at 7:10 p.m.,  Prime
Saturday at 4:15 p.m., Channel 11
Sunday at 1:10 p.m., Prime

WNBA: SPARKS at TULSA, 6 p.m.,  ESPN2:
When the Ringling Brothers circus takes up Staples Center occupancy, everyone hits the road. For good reason. Even if it means going to Oklahoma and then Arizona in the dead of summer.
Sparks at Phoenix, 3 p.m. Sunday, TWC SportsNet


MLB: ANGELS at SEATTLE, 7:10 p.m., FSW:
Raul IbanezJered Weaver’s lifetime marks pitching at Safeco Field: A 5-6 record in 13 starts with a 4.58 ERA. Mariners outfielder Raul Ibanez (right) is 14-for-30 in his career against Weaver with four homers. But it’s not even as good as teammate Jesus Montero, coming back after some knee problems. The 23-year-old is 5-for-10 against Weaver with four homers as well – and a 2.200 OPS.
The series continues:
Saturday, 7:10 p.m., FSW
Sunday at 1:10 p.m., FSW

LAKERS vs. CLEVELAND, 5 p.m., TWC SportsNet
130501075718-summer-league-logo-small-body-copy.story-bodyThe NBA Summer League’s in Las Vegas has changed to a tournament style format, so this is the first of preliminary round games. Who’ll make up the rosters for these Lakers and Clippers? The better guess is who won’t be attending.
Also: Lakers vs. Portland, 3:30 p.m. Sunday, TWC Sports Net (tape delayed at 8 p.m.); Clippers vs. Dallas, 1:30 p.m. Sunday.


MLS: GALAXY at PORTLAND, 8 p.m., NBC Sports Network:
These two played to a scoreless tie a few weeks ago in Carson. Expect more of the same excitement in Oregon.

U.S. vs. CUBA at Salt Lake City, 12:30 p.m., Channel 11:
The Americans start Group C against Belize in Portland (Tuesday, 8 p.m.), but this one seems to have more implications. It was important enough for Landon Donovan to skip out on some Galaxy games to play in this.


GOLF: U.S. SENIOR OPEN at Omaha, Neb., final round, noon, Channel 4:
tourn_logoIt’s open to any pro or amateur golfer who is 50 years of age as of July 11. Dang, the deadline to enter was June 5. If we go anyway, can we catch some more College World Series games?
ESPN2 has the first two rounds (Thursday and Friday, 1 p.m.); Channel 4 also has the third round (Saturday, noon).

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