(SportsNetwork.com) - One of the hottest pitchers in the major leagues faces one of the coldest on Friday night, when the Los Angeles Dodgers host the Pittsburgh Pirates in game two of a four-game weekend series at Dodger Stadium.
Josh Beckett takes the mound for Los Angeles after throwing the first no- hitter of his career in his most recent start, a 6-0 win at Philadelphia on Sunday.
He threw 128 pitches in the gem and is in position to win a fourth consecutive start for the first time in seven years.
It was the Dodgers' first no-hitter since Hideo Nomo threw one in 1996.
"I just wanted to help the team. You always want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem," Beckett said. "You don't think at this point of your career that you're going to do that. I just don't feel that my stuff is good enough to do that. I'm probably as hard on myself as anybody."
Beckett lost 14 games in 2013 and was largely unavailable last year due to injuries. He began this season on the disabled list with a thumb problem, but has rebounded to hold opponents to just a .198 batting average.
"He's been throwing well all year," manager Don Mattingly said, "and his breaking ball and change keep getting better."
Beckett has split two career starts against the Pirates while maintaining a 1.54 earned run average.
Pittsburgh goes with lefty Francisco Liriano, who was a 16-game winner last season but has yet to earn a victory this season after 11 starts.
He's lasted six innings just six times in those 11 starts and has lost two straight outings after a 5-2 defeat by Washington on Sunday.
"I'm not doing my job at all," Liriano said. "I'm not going deep into games and I'm not keeping the team in the ballgame."
He walked four batters and allowed four runs in five innings against the Nationals.
"I thought he had sequence of all three pitches - in some spots," manager Clint Hurdle said. "The consistency over five innings was not there. The challenge of this game is, you're a pitch or two away from pushing through."
His only career meeting with the Dodgers came in his rookie season eight years ago while he was with the Minnesota Twins, and ended in a 9-2 victory after he gave up two runs in seven innings.
On Thursday, Josh Harrison smacked a tiebreaking single to spark Pittsburgh's three-run seventh inning and the Pirates snapped a nine-game slide at Dodger Stadium with a 6-3 win.
Los Angeles shortstop Hanley Ramirez tied the game at 3-3 with an RBI single in the sixth, but Harrison and Neil Walker ripped back-to-back run-scoring singles with two outs in the seventh to put the Pirates on top. Gaby Sanchez's RBI double capped the rally, which made a winner out of California native Gerrit Cole (5-3), who allowed three runs on six hits and two walks over 6 1/3 frames.
Harrison finished 2-for-5 with two RBI for the Pirates, who defeated the Dodgers in Los Angeles for the first time since Sept. 15, 2011.
Brandon League (1-2) was charged for all three runs in the seventh to absorb the loss, while Yasiel Puig went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored for the Dodgers, who have dropped back-to-back games.