Fri, 17 Sep 2021

Dodgers aim to halt slide in clash vs. Diamondbacks

Field Level Media
31 Jul 2021, 22:05 GMT+10

The Los Angeles Dodgers are in a rut but reinforcements are on the way.

The Dodgers will look to halt a stretch of eight losses in their past 12 games when they face the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night in Phoenix.

Los Angeles lost the series opener 6-5 in 10 innings on Friday after Arizona's Asdrubal Cabrera delivered the walk-off double.

The Dodgers remain three games behind first-place San Francisco in the National League West. Chances of catching the Giants certainly improved with the acquisitions of right-hander Max Scherzer and infielder Trea Turner -- two All-Stars -- from the Washington Nationals as well as left-hander Danny Duffy of the Kansas City Royals before the trade deadline.

Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts has the task of figuring out how to utilize the trio. He views that as a good dilemma.

"I was very excited," Roberts told reporters prior to the loss that dropped the Dodgers to 1-11 in extra innings. "Obviously very, very accomplished, very consistent and very good ball players. They enhance our club tremendously."

Scherzer and Duffy are slated to join the team on Saturday, with Scherzer's debut likely occurring Wednesday. Scherzer is a three-time Cy Young Award winner.

Turner was placed on the COVID-19 list by the Nationals earlier this week. Roberts said Turner still has to work through protocols.

Once Turner is available, the Dodgers have to decide where to play him. Regular shortstop Corey Seager went 2-for-5 in his return Friday from an elbow injury that had sidelined him since May 15. Seager isn't keen about switching positions.

Roberts said he will discuss the situation with Turner.

"I'm going to talk to him and kind of figure out where the best fit is for him and our club," Roberts said. "But this guy can do so many things on a baseball field. Right now, he's a Dodger, Corey's a Dodger. It's about winning and we'll put the pieces together."

Arizona possesses the worst record (33-71) in the majors but the trading deadline didn't prompt a full housecleaning.

All-Star third baseman Eduardo Escobar was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for two minor leaguers on Wednesday. Right-handed reliever Joakim Soria was dealt to the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday for two players to be named later.

"We made a couple of trades that we feel good about," Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen said. "I didn't necessarily anticipate there being a mass of trades."

Arizona is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak as right-hander Noe Ramirez and outfielder Stuart Fairchild tested positive and were placed on the injured list. First baseman/outfielder Pavin Smith, right-hander Riley Smith and left-hander Joe Mantiply also were placed on the list due to contact tracing.

"We're doing our absolute best to figure out what's going on and how things have happened, but sometimes it's a little tough to unravel," Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. "I know you guys want to know how long those ... players will be out. That's undetermined."

Arizona catcher Carson Kelly (fractured wrist) returned from the injured list for his first action since June 19. He went 0-for-3 with a run scored on Friday.

Right-hander Merrill Kelly (7-7, 4.39 ERA) will be looking to win his sixth straight decision for the Diamondbacks. Kelly has a 2.62 ERA over his past seven starts.

The 32-year-old Kelly is 0-1 with a 2.92 ERA in two starts this season versus Los Angeles. He stands 0-2 with a 4.13 ERA in five career starts against the Dodgers.

Max Muncy is 5-for-12 against Kelly, while Chris Taylor is 2-for-11. Taylor homered Friday and has gone deep six times in the past 10 games.

The Dodgers haven't announced a starter, with Roberts indicating it will be a bullpen game.

--Field Level Media

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