After struggling to produce runs against another left-handed pitcher, the Los Angeles Dodgers draw a right-hander in the rubber match against the New York Yankees on Wednesday afternoon.
Despite their loss Tuesday night, the Dodgers’ four-game lead in the National League West remains intact as the San Francisco Giants dropped a second consecutive game to the San Diego Padres at AT&T Park.
Los Angeles aims to clinch a series victory behind ace Clayton Kershaw, who makes his second start since being activated from the 60-day disabled list. He showed signs of rust in his previous outing against the Miami Marlins, allowing five hits and two earned runs over three innings — punching out five batters without yielding a walk.
Kershaw has started against the Yankees just twice in his career, posting a 1.20 ERA with 11 baserunners reaching in 15 innings. He starts at Yankee Stadium for the first time in his career.
Michael Pineda takes the ball for the Yankees in a season that’s been marred by inconsistency. In 156.1 innings, he has pitched to a 5.07 ERA and 3.80 FIP with 179 strikeouts to just 44 walks.
Pineda has seen somewhat better results in the second half of 2016, posting a 4.57 ERA in 61 innings compared to a 5.38 ERA in 95.1 frames during the first half. But Pineda’s last outing against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sept. 9 was mediore at best.
He gave up two earned runs with seven strikeouts, but allowed eight baserunners while only lasting 4.2 innings. Playing for two American League teams over the past four seasons, Pineda is making his first career start against the Dodgers.
Andre Ethier sees action for the first time this series, batting seventh and serving as the designated hitter. The start is Ethier’s second since he came off the 60-day DL last weekend.
Collectively, the Dodgers rank fourth in wRC+ against righties (108), compared to a 73 wRC+ against southpaws (29th in MLB).
Aaron Judge is not in the Yankees’ lineup and is expected to miss the remainder of the season after sustaining an oblique injury Tuesday.
2B: Chase Utley
SS: Corey Seager
3B: Justin Turner
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
C: Yasmani Grandal
RF: Josh Reddick
DH: Andre Ethier
CF: Joc Pederson
LF: Andrew Toles
(P: Clayton Kershaw)
LF: Brett Gardner
CF: Jacoby Ellsbury
C: Gary Sanchez
2B: Starlin Castro
3B: Chase Headley
SS: Didi Gregorius
RF: Rob Refsnyder
DH: Austin Romine
1B: Tyler Austin
(P: Michael Pineda)