After going 5-3 on their East Coast road trip, the Los Angeles Dodgers return home for the start of a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Dodgers improved to 54-34 with Thursday’s win over the Miami Marlins and trail the first-place San Francisco Giants by only one game in the National League West standings. The Diamondbacks, meanwhile, own baseball’s worst record at 25-64.
L.A. is a perfect 7-0 against Arizona this season and looks to make it eight in a row when they send David Price to the mound in Friday’s opener. Clayton Kershaw initially was scheduled to start but those plans changed when he was placed on the 10-day injured list with left forearm inflammation.
With so much uncertainty surrounding the Dodgers rotation, Price will begin building up as a starter. He is expected to pitch three innings against the Diamondbacks and will steadily increase that number with each appearance.
“I know obviously with Clayton going on the IL now, you’re looking at Walker, Julio, Gonsolin and I think that as we look out into the near future I think David Price, the idea of building him up starts to make more sense,” Roberts said earlier this week.
“And then outside of that we’ve got to kind of figure out, once we get to the break we’ll have a clearer picture. But like I said, our guys are always looking to put on a glove and certainly with what’s going on with our pitching, we’re very mindful of that.”
Price brings with him into Friday’s outing a 4-0 record, 3.58 ERA, 3.75 FIP and 1.66 WHIP in 27.2 innings pitched (23 games, three starts). He owns a 3.46 ERA in six career appearances against the Diamondbacks, and this season has held them to one run over four innings.
Arizona counters with Taylor Widener, who is making his first start since May 23. He was sidelined the past month and a half with a right groin strain.
Prior to sustaining the injury, Widener had been one of the few bright spots in the Diamondbacks starting rotation. He enters at 1-0 with a 2.63 ERA, 5.05 FIP and 1.17 WHIP in 24 innings to date (five starts).
Widener tossed a scoreless inning in his lone appearance against the Dodgers last season. AJ Pollock is the only player on L.A.’s active roster who has faced the right-hander but is hitless in one at-bat.
RF: Mookie Betts
1B: Max Muncy
3B: Justin Turner
CF: Cody Bellinger
C: Will Smith
2B: Chris Taylor
SS: Gavin Lux
LF: AJ Pollock
P: David Price
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