Clayton Kershaw was scheduled to start the opening game of the Freeway Series for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but was scratched hours before the game due to still nursing a hip issue. Although the Dodgers acquired new starters to bolster their rotation earlier in the week, their respective debuts will need to wait as Zack Greinke fills in for Kershaw.
Greinke is coming off just his second loss of the season after his scoreless innings streak came to an end against the New York Mets. While just giving up two runs, Greinke still owns the Major’s lowest ERA at 1.37. He also comes into Friday’s game with a 2.63 FIP and 0.83 WHIP and looks to finish his dominant July on a strong note.
In order to do so he’ll need to improve on his career struggles against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In his nine previous starts, Greinke has only managed a single win against the Angels. Last August, he allowed five runs, two unearned while the Dodgers were shutout.
If there is any positive for Greinke, it can be found in knowing no current Angel has ever hit a home run on him despite a combined slash line of .327/.375/.485.
Opposing Greinke is Hector Santiago, who comes in at 7-4 with a 2.43 ERA, 3.84 FIP and 1.15 WHIP. He walked away with a no-decision in his last start while giving up four runs, one unearned, against the Texas Rangers before leaving in the sixth inning with no outs.
It was the second consecutive time Santiago left the game with five innings pitched. Santiago has faced the Dodgers twice before, with the first of the two appearances as a starter. In that outing last season, the Dodgers scored four runs in 5.1 innings on the left-hander, and won the game on a throwing error in the bottom of the ninth.
After spending nine seasons with the Angels, Howie Kendrick faces his former team for the first time. Kendrick owns the fifth-best career batting average in Angels franchise history at .292. His consistent hitting and familiarity with American League teams has contributed to a .353/.450/.382 slash line in nine Interleague games this season.
Elsewhere, Joc Pederson gets a night off and may also be held out of the lineup on Saturday due to another lefty taking the mound, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. Pederson has managed just four hits over his last 22 at-bats. Starting in his place in center field is Kiké Hernandez, who drove in the go-ahead runs in the Dodgers’ Wednesday night game against the Oakland Athletics.
Entering Friday’s game the Dodgers hold a 5-4 record in Interleague play and lead the San Francisco Giants by just half a game atop the NL West.
SS: Jimmy Rollins
2B: Howie Kendrick
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
LF: Scott Van Slyke
RF: Yasiel Puig
C: Yasmani Grandal
3B: Alex Guerrero
CF: Kiké Hernandez
P: Zack Greinke
2B: Johnny Giavotella
RF: Kole Calhoun
CF: Mike Trout
1B: Albert Pujols
LF: David Murphy
SS: Erick Aybar
3B: Conner Gillaspie
C: Chris Iannetta
P: Hector Santiago