For as torrid of a pace the Los Angeles Dodgers were on on August, they’ve gone cold in September thus far and are looking to avoid being swept by the Miami Marlins, who are on a season-best seven-game winning streak.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers have lost two in a row and five of the last six in a stretch that culminated with beginning a marquee series against the Atlanta Braves. Even with their recent skid, the Dodgers enter play Thursday 7.5 games ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers for the No. 2 seed in the National League playoff bracket that comes with a first-round bye.
Manager Dave Roberts dismissed the notion of the team laboring through a letdown after their historic stretch.
As the Dodgers are trying to turn their fortune around, Ryan Pepiot takes the mound for his second start and fourth overall game with the team. Pepiot enters 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA thus far in 2023, which began late because of a left oblique strain/intercostal injury.
Pepiot is back on the Dodgers roster due to MLB placing Julio Urías on administrative leave while they investigate his arrest on suspicion of felony domestic violence. Pepiot made his 2023 debut against Miami and allowed just one run over five innings out of the bullpen.
The Marlins counter with Braxton Garrett, who has gone 8-5 with a 3.86 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 27 games (26 starts) this season. Garrett allowed three runs over six innings and took the loss at Dodger Stadium on August 19.
A left-hander on the mound results in the Dodgers lineup featuring a bevy of right-handed hitters.
Among them is Austin Barnes, who starts two days after being hit in the side of the head by Nick Fortes’ backswing. Barnes was removed early from the series opener and sustained a contusion but avoided a concussion.
RF: Mookie Betts
1B: Freddie Freeman
DH: Will Smith
2B: Amed Rosario
3B: Max Muncy
LF: Chris Taylor
CF: Kiké Hernández
SS: Miguel Rojas
C: Austin Barnes
1B: Luis Arraez
3B: Jake Burger
DH: Josh Bell
CF: Jazz Chisholm Jr.
LF: Bryan De La Cruz
RF: Jesús Sánchez
2B: Xavier Edwards
SS: Joey Wendle
C: Nick Fortes
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