With Pedro Baez landing on the 15-day disabled list Thursday due to a strained right pectoral muscle, the Los Angeles Dodgers opted to activate Kenley Jansen off the DL Friday — one day earlier than initially planed.
The decision sat well with Jansen, who said earlier in the week he was prepared to return after completing six rehab assignments with High-A Rancho Cucamonga. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he would ease Jansen back into the closer role, which the 27-year-old Curacao native was on board with and added he would need one inning to acclimate himself to pitching in a Major-League game.
As can be the case when dealing with the unpredictable nature of sports, Mattingly’s best laid plans essentially went by the wayside come the eighth inning Friday night. With the Dodgers nursing a 6-4 lead, Mattingly called on Jansen to protect the lead.
All Jansen did was strikeout the side plus one on 14 pitches in his 2015 debut with the Dodgers. The hard-throwing right-hander entered the standing ovation and received one as he walked off the field with the rare accomplishment under his belt.
Jansen became the sixth Dodgers pitcher to strikeout four batters in one inning, joining Pete Richert, Don Drysdale, Darren Dreifort, Brad Penny and Zack Greinke.