The Los Angeles Dodgers began their final regular-season home series with a comeback win against the Colorado Rockies and now add Justin Turner to the lineup. A sprained left ankle prevented Turner from starting in any of the past 10 games.
He didn’t appear until entering as a pinch-hitter on Friday night. “He certainly has a presence,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Just to get him back in there, get in the flow of preparing for a game, it was nice to get him an at-bat last night.
“Whether it’s two or three at-bats — probably only two — and then get him back in there to start Sunday.”
Although Turner is back, Max Muncy is not in the lineup one night after being removed early due to quad tightness. “I think he’s certainly playable today but just considering his value and where we’re at, I hope he’ll be back in there tomorrow,” Roberts explained.
“Just to keep him off his feet makes the most sense but if there’s a spot that we need him, I wouldn’t hesitate.”
As for matters on the mound, Hyun-Jin Ryu was the initial probable before the Dodgers announced a switch. They instead hand the ball to Walker Buehler, who had a pre-planned abbreviated outing his last time out.
“This one will be more of a full start,” Roberts said. “This is his last major ramp-up to the postseason. I expect him to go out there and execute pitches. There’s a lot of familiarity between him and those guys, so it’s that cat-and-mouse you’ve got to navigate.”
Buehler is 13-3 with a 3.15 ERA, 2.87 FIP and 1.01 WHIP in 28 starts this season. He’s undefeated at home, going 6-0 with a 2.64 ERA in 13 games. One of those outings was a complete game with 16 strikeouts against the Rockies.
However, Colorado most recently knocked the right-hander around for six runs on eight hits, including two home runs just under three weeks ago.
Buehler is opposed by Kyle Freeland in what’s his first start since Aug. 20. The southpaw is a perplexing 3-11 with a 6.98 ERA in 20 starts this season. Freeland figures to be more of an opener than option for length, which contributed to the Dodgers batting David Freese leadoff.
The Rockies need a win to avoid dropping a 13th consecutive game at Dodger Stadium, which would set the record for the longest losing streak. They currently are tied with the Cincinnati Reds, who lost 12 in a row at Chavez Ravine from Aug. 28, 2006-July 22, 2009.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers are in position to become the ninth team in franchise history to win at least 100 games in a season.
1B: David Freese
3B: Justin Turner
LF: A.J. Polloc
CF: Cody Bellinger
RF: Chris Taylor
SS: Corey Seager
C: Russell Marti
2B: Gavin Lux
P: Walker Buehler
2B: Garrett Hampson
LF: Raimel Tapia
SS: Trevor Story
RF: Charlie Blackmon
3B: Ryan McMahon
CF: Sam HillIard
1B: Josh Fuentes
C: Tony Wolters
P: Kyle Freeland