Adrian Gonzalez has looked as though he will play a big part in the Los Angeles Dodgers' playoff push after getting acquired in a blockbuster deal on Saturday.
The Dodgers hope another big piece of that deal, Josh Beckett, can contribute as well and he makes his debut Monday evening in the opener of a three-game series with the Colorado Rockies.
Gonzalez and Beckett were acquired from the Boston Red Sox on Saturday, along with infielder Nick Punto and outfielder Carl Crawford, for first baseman James Loney, pitcher Allen Webster and infielder Ivan De Jesus along with two players to be named later.
Not only did the trade bring some new talent to Hollywood, but also a lot of money. Not only that, but Crawford isn't expected to play until next season after having Tommy John surgery on his left elbow on Thursday.
Beckett will hope a change of scenery gets his career back on track. He holds a lifetime record of 130-92 with a 3.93 earned run average, but is just 5-11 with a 5.23 ERA in 21 starts this season. The 32-year-old lost his final four decisions with the Red Sox and hasn't won since July 15.
Beckett, a three-time All-Star and World Series MVP with the Florida Marlins in 2003, waived his "10/5" rights to be included in the deal. One of the highlights of his Boston career was pitching Game 1 of a four-game sweep over the Colorado Rockies to win the 2007 World Series, but he was also part of last season's epic September collapse that cost the club a playoff spot.
"I think this was something I wanted. I wanted to make sure it was right for everybody else as well," Beckett said of the trade. "It was tough leaving Boston, I had been there for seven years. I had awesome times there, tough times. There's great people there, but I'm looking forward to a chapter and wearing blue."
The right-hander is 4-1 with a 3.89 ERA in six career regular-season meetings versus the Rockies.
The Dodgers have split two games since the trade. Gonzalez hit a home run in his debut on Saturday, an 8-2 win over the Marlins, but his two hits and RBI weren't enough in Sunday's 6-2 setback.
Andre Ethier struck out in the first inning to snap his franchise record string of 10 straight at-bats with a hit. He later drove in a run, but Aaron Harang was touched for three runs over 5 1/3 frames in the Dodgers' fourth loss in six games.
"We gave ourselves plenty of chances today," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "We could have scored 10 runs as easily as two. We gave ourselves lots of chances to do it, we just didn't do it."
With the setback, Los Angeles sits 1 1/2 games out of a wild card spot and two contests back of the San Francisco Giants for first place in the NL West.
The Dodgers take their swings in this opener against Jeff Francis, who is 1-0 over his last four starts for the Rockies and did not factor into the decision of his second straight outing on Wednesday against the New York Mets.
The 31-year-old southpaw did have a solid outing, allowing a run on five hits and two walks over five frames, but the offense came too late in a 5-2 win.
Francis is 4-4 with a 5.79 ERA in 16 starts this season, including a no- decision against the Dodgers on Aug. 8. He is 5-4 against them lifetime with a 3.46 ERA in 17 meetings.
Colorado lost for just the second time in eight games on Sunday, getting blanked by the Chicago Cubs 5-0 in a game that was shortened to eight innings due to rain.
Jhoulys Chacin, in his second start after returning from a three-month stint on the disabled list with a pectoral injury, was a hard-luck loser. The right- hander allowed one run on five hits in five innings.
"We didn't hit today," Colorado manager Jim Tracy said.
After splitting 18 meetings a season ago, the Dodgers and Rockies have split 12 matchups so far in 2012.