The Los Angeles Dodgers start a six-game road trip on Friday after a five-game homestand where they went 2-3 in games against the San Francisco Giants and Detroit Tigers. The Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks meet for the third time this season. The Diamondbacks are looking for their first win over the Dodgers, having been swept in the Opening Series.
Josh Beckett made his season debut on Wednesday, which allowed manager Don Mattingly to push back Hyun-Jin Ryu’s start to Friday. Ryu started the daunted slate of games that the Dodgers were once considering withholding Clayton Kershaw from. Ryu was on the mound in Australia, started in place of the injured Kershaw in the Dodgers’ U.S. opener in San Diego, and pitched again in the Dodgers’ home opener.
All three starts came on at least five days rest, but it was a strenuous workload early in the season and the left-hander began to show signs of fatigue. Ryu admitted to feeling tired in San Diego after pitching seven innings and it appeared to carry over into his next start, where he lasted just two innings and allowed eight runs in the loss. With the extra days of rest the Dodgers are looking for Ryu to revert back to his normal self. In his first outing against the Diamondbacks, Ryu pitched five innings, striking out five, allowing two hits and no runs. Ryu will have his work cut out for him as Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt has a career .500 average against the lefty with two doubles, one home run and five RBIs.
Taking the mound for the Diamondbacks is Brandon McCarthy. The right-hander has started two games this season, both of which resulted in losses, though he was only charged with one of them. McCarthy went at least six innings in each start, but also allowed a minimum of five runs and one home run in each game. McCarthy posted a 5-11 record in 2013 and won both of his starts against the Dodgers last season.
Despite their 0-2 record against McCarthy last year, collectively, active Dodgers on the roster are hitting a career .309 off the right-hander. The Diamondbacks began the season 0-3 and are 4-5 since that point. All of their games have come against division opponents and the sub-.500 record doesn’t bode well for a team with aspirations to win the NL West. Friday is the first home game for the Diamondbacks, who finished their own six-game road trip with an extra-innings win over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday.
Yasiel Puig returns to the starting lineup after missing two games and being relegated to a pinch-hit appearance on Wednesday. Puig’s return signals the end of Matt Kemp’s starting streak as Andre Ethier takes over in center. Despite his recent success at the top of the order, Dee Gordon bats eighth in Mattingly’s lineup for Friday.
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