Brewers Vs. Dodgers Game Preview: J.D. Martinez Returns To The Lineup

J.D. Martinez is back in the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup for the first time since August 6 as he has been dealing with a left groin/adductor injury.

The initial hope was for Martinez to return over the weekend but Dodgers trainers suggested maintaining a cautious approach and the veteran designated hitter wasn’t cleared until Sunday, which was for a potential pinch-hit opportunity.

Despite Martinez effectively going the length of a 10-day injured list stint without playing, the Dodgers kept him on their active roster as his timetable for return remained fluid.

“I think with J.D. in this situation, it just doesn’t seem like an IL would make sense, because he’s not in the field and it’s not a workload thing,” manager Dave Roberts explained. “It’s just more of some days he’ll come in and feel good and other days it’s almost like it’s debilitating.

“So after that epidural, we feel it takes a few days and he should be good to go.”

Martinez previously spent time on the IL in late April and into May because of lower back tightness.

When he has been on the field, Martinez has enjoyed a resurgent season, batting .260/.312/.558 with 25 home runs in 88 games.

He and the Dodgers look to provide run support for Bobby Miller, fresh off of start where he pitching six-plus scoreless innings of shutout ball against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Miller has been impressive in his last three starts, throwing 14.2 innings and collecting 13 strikeouts and giving up only five runs (four earned) in those outings.

Overall this season, Miller is 6-2 with a 3.89 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in 13 starts.

The Brewers send out Adrian Houser, who is 4-3 with a 4.38 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. Houser is coming off a start against the Colorado Rockies where he pitched five innings and gave up four runs while collecting five strikeouts. Houser’s last three starts have not been terrific as he has allowed 11 runs over 15 innings.

Houser throws a sinker 46.2% of the time, four-seam fastball 24.7% of the time, slider at 16.1% , curveball for 8.1% and changeup at 4.9% to round out his pitch arsenal. Houser gives up 10.5 hits per nine innings, but his home run rate is fairly low.

The Dodgers are in the midst of their longest winning streak of the season at eight games and are 12-2 over their last 14. Though perhaps of note, those 14 games have all been against teams who currently have losing records.

The Brewers are 65-54, first in the National League Central, are 3.5 games above the surprising Chicago Cubs. They rank 22nd overall in runs scored, home runs and on-base percentage, and are 27th in on-base plus slugging. They are 14th in overall ERA and strikeouts, but they also have the fourth-best batting average against.

Dodgers lineup

2B: Mookie Betts
1B: Freddie Freeman
C: Will Smith
3B: Max Muncy
DH: J.D. Martinez
LF: David Peralta
RF: Jason Heyward
CF: James Outman
SS: Miguel Rojas

Brewers lineup

LF: Christian Yelich
C: William Contreras
1B: Carlos Santana
CF: Sal Frelick
SS: Willy Adames
DH: Mark Canha
3B: Andruw Monasterio
2B: Brice Turang
RF: Tyrone Taylor

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