Dodgers go for series win vs. struggling Diamondbacks

MLB

A pair of teams crushed by injuries will meet on Wednesday when the Los Angeles Dodgers host the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Both teams showed off some roster creativity Tuesday, when the Dodgers ran away late for a 9-1 victory in the second contest of the four-game series. Gavin Lux hit a grand slam – the first of his career — for the Dodgers and Mookie Betts and Chris Taylor each had a home run.

Because of a depleted starting rotation, the Diamondbacks gave Tuesday’s start to right-hander Corbin Martin, who had not set foot in a major league game since 2019 and had just five games of big-league experience.

Martin, who was acquired from Houston in the 2019 trade that sent Zack Greinke to the Astros, gave up three runs on four hits and four walks over five innings on the same day he was recalled from Triple-A Reno.

Right-hander Merrill Kelly (2-4, 5.24 ERA) is expected to take the mound for Arizona on Wednesday. He’s 0-1 with a 5.06 ERA in three career starts against the Dodgers, who have tagged him for nine runs (all earned) in 16 innings.

Help is on the way, though. Right-hander Taylor Widener (groin) made a rehab start and could be ready to make his next start with the Diamondbacks after three weeks on the injured list. And outfielder Ketel Marte is on a rehab assignment as well.

Marte could be back from his right hamstring soon, but Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo was not going to let him get away with just playing in simulated games.

“It was my opinion that you’re going to wake up, you’re going to get in the car, you’re going to drive in the ballpark, you’re going to have a normal pregame activity,” Lovullo said of getting Marte into minor league games. “You’re just going to collect your thoughts and prepare yourself mentally as you would for a big league baseball game, and I feel like there’s some importance to that.”

The Dodgers showed off some roster creativity of their own Tuesday, the second consecutive day a player in the starting lineup was making his debut with the club. While Albert Pujols was the new guy Monday, Yosi Tsutsugo made his Dodgers debut in left field Wednesday and had two walks.

Tsutsugo, who hit as many as 45 home runs in a single year in Japan, was acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays over the weekend for a player to be named later or cash.

“(We) very much believe in the bat,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. “(We) still believe he can hit, and sometimes a change of scenery helps. At his core, we believe he is a really good hitter. How long that will take to unlock, we’re not sure.”

Meantime, Cody Bellinger (leg) and utility man Zach McKinstry (oblique) are headed to Triple-A Oklahoma City on rehab assignments. McKinstry figures to be back first, while Bellinger is trying to play in his first major league game since the season-opening road trip.

While they wait, the Dodgers will send a dependable pitcher to the mound Wednesday.

Left-hander Clayton Kershaw (6-3, 3.20 ERA) will get the start looking to improve on his career 18-10 record in 36 starts against the D-backs with a 2.75 ERA and 1.05 WHIP.

–Field Level Media

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