The Los Angeles Dodgers could be without several key starters when they begin a 10-game road trip Monday against the Arizona Diamondbacks, who have won three of their last four contests. Los Angeles’ magic number to clinch the National League West stands at four with 13 games to play, but they are hardly surging into the postseason. After taking control of the division by going 23-6 in August, the Dodgers have lost eight of their 14 games this month.
Los Angeles is hoping to have injured shortstop Hanley Ramirez (back) and outfielders Andre Ethier (ankle) and Carl Crawford (back) return this week, along with outfielder Matt Kemp, who has been out since July 21 with a sprained left ankle. The Dodgers have won five of their last six meetings with Arizona, which defeated Colorado 8-2 on Sunday when MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt went 4-for-4 with a homer and five RBIs. The 26-year-old first baseman is batting .379 with four home runs and 16 RBIs against the Dodgers this season.
TV: 9:40 p.m. ET, Prime Ticket (Los Angeles), FSN (Arizona)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Dodgers LH Hyun-Jin Ryu (13-6, 3.07 ERA) vs. Diamondbacks RH Trevor Cahill (6-10, 4.22)
After missing one start with a stiff back, Ryu yielded three runs on 10 hits over six frames against Arizona on Wednesday. “For not pitching in 10 days, he was fairly sharp,” manager Don Mattingly said. “He looked pretty good." The NL Rookie of the Year candidate is 1-1 with a 5.48 ERA in four previous starts against the Diamondbacks.
Control issues continue to plague Cahill, who has issued 11 walks over his last three starts. The 25-year-old surrendered three runs (one earned) in six innings in a 5-3 loss to the Dodgers on Tuesday, when he issued four costly walks. Adrian Gonzalez is 9-for-17 with a home run against Cahill, who is 5-0 with a 2.04 ERA in nine career starts against the Dodgers.
1. Arizona RHP J.J. Putz, who has been out since Aug. 24 with a dislocated right finger, is expected to be activated during the series.
2. Gonzalez went 8-for-23 with a home run and eight RBIs during the Dodgers’ just-completed seven-game homestand.
3. The Diamondbacks have gone 16-7 in a franchise-record 23 extra-inning games this season.
PREDICTION: Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 5