The Los Angeles Dodgers have lost two consecutive games in extra innings to the San Diego Padres and in the process, have seen their lead in the National League West standings dwindle down to 2.5 games.
Thus far, the Padres have won games that Dan Haren and Zack Greinke started, and on Sunday face a pitcher returning from injury. As expected, the Dodgers reinstated Hyun-Jin Ryu from the 15-day disabled list. Along with Ryu, Juan Uribe was also activated.
To clear room on the roster for the returning players, Carlos Frias and Miguel Rojas were both optioned and can return Monday, when Triple-A Albuquerque’s season ends and active Major League rosters expand.
Ryu was eligible to come off the DL Friday, but the Dodgers waited on the move as he worked his way through various steps of his recovery. While reinstating Ryu Sunday and not Monday required the Dodgers to clear a spot on the active roster, manager Don Mattingly is giving the southpaw the nod due to his sustained success against the Padres.
In his young career, Ryu is 3-0 in four starts against the Dodgers’ division opponent. Three of the starts have come this season and Ryu is 2-0 with a 0.47 ERA in the outings. He last faced the Padres July 13 when he threw six innings and struck out 10.
With Ryu returning to the starting rotation, it solidifies, at least for now, Kevin Correia’s status as a reliever. Correia made his first relief appearance for the Dodgers in the 12th inning of Friday’s game and suffered the loss.
Overall this season, Ryu is 13-6 with a 3.28 ERA. He’s just two wins shy of matching last season’s total, when he also finished with eight losses. If Ryu’s return from the disabled list in May is any indication of what the Dodgers can expect, they should be in good standing moving forward.
Ryu returned from inflammation issues in his left shoulder May 21 and won four of his first five starts, and six of eight before a no-decision July 2. With Ryu taking the mound Sunday, Roberto Hernandez will pitch Monday when the Dodgers begin a three-game series with the Washington Nationals at Chavez Ravine.
Uribe returns after missing 12 games and should give what’s been a struggling offense some added punch. Despite strong play from Justin Turner, Uribe will again handle the starting duties at third base.
Although the Dodgers have had their lead in the NL West significantly trimmed, manager Don Mattingly doesn’t seem concerned and believes good fortune lies ahead for the Dodgers, who are inching closer to full strength.
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