After adding some excitement to their roster in the form of a top prospect, the Los Angeles Dodgers could have some more added punch on Tuesday when they play the middle contest of a three-game series with the San Diego Padres.
Shortstop Hanley Ramirez could be activated off the disabled list and a start tonight would be just his fifth of the season for the Dodgers. Ramirez began the season on the DL due to surgery on a torn ligament in his right thumb suffered during the World Baseball Classic before returning at the end of April.
Ramirez went 5-for-11 with a homer in four games before straining his left hamstring on May 3 against San Francisco while running the bases. He made his third minor league rehab appearance on Monday with no issues.
Ramirez would be the second offensive player to join the lineup in two days. With Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford both on the disabled list due to hamstring issues, Yasiel Puig was recalled from Double-A Chattanooga and got the start in right field on Monday versus San Diego. He had a pair of hits out of the leadoff spot and showed off his big arm in the outfield in a 2-1 win.
Puig doubled off San Diego's Chris Denorfia to end the game, launching a strike to first base from the warning track after catching a fly ball off the bat of Kyle Blanks.
"I'm thinking that ball is going out of the ballpark -- the way things have been going -- when he hits it, but that throw was unbelievable," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said on his team's website. "With all the hype, it's really just amazing that it ends like that. It was fun."
Adrian Gonzalez and Scott Van Slyke hit solo homers and Stephen Fife earned his first career victory by holding the Padres to a run over 5 1/3 innings. He was making the spot start in place of Chris Capuano, who was forced out of his last start due to a left triceps cramp.
Los Angeles had lost four of five prior to the opener, while San Diego has now lost two straight.
Chase Headley knocked in the lone Padres run, while starter Eric Stults allowed two runs on six hits over seven frames to absorb the loss against his former club.
The Padres' Carlos Quentin did not play due to a sore left shoulder. This series marks his first trip back to Los Angeles on the active roster since charging the mound after getting hit by a Zack Greinke fastball back on April 11. Greinke suffered a broken collarbone during the brawl and Quentin was hit with an eight-game suspension.
Drawing the start for the Padres will be Clayton Richard, who makes his scheduled start three days later than anticipated due to a rare relief appearance on Friday.
The left-hander, 0-5 with an 8.35 earned run average through seven starts this season, was pressed into duty versus Toronto, hurling the final two frames of a 4-3, 17-inning victory. After giving up just one hit, he earned his first victory of the season when Jesus Guzman singled home the winning run with two outs in the 17th.
Richard, the eighth pitcher used by San Diego, was slated to start the following day.
"We talked about it ... using a position player or a pitcher," Padres manager Bud Black said. "But we wanted to win the game. We took his start out of the equation and went for the win."
The 29-year-old made his first relief appearance with the Padres and first since May 10, 2009 with the Chicago White Sox.
Richard is 6-3 with a 3.19 ERA in 14 career meetings with the Dodgers and did not factor into a 9-3 home win over the club on April 9 after allowing two runs over five innings of work.
Ted Lilly is set to make his fifth start of the season and third since his return from a second stint this season on the DL.
The 37-year-old lefty was last in action on Thursday against the Los Angeles Angels, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks over 5 2/3 innings. He took the loss, falling to 0-2 with a 4.26 ERA this season.
"Ted threw the ball well and gave us a chance to win. We had chances, but we didn't get it done," said Mattingly.
Lilly will face the Padres for the first time this season and is 11-4 against them lifetime with a 2.51 ERA in 18 games (17 starts).
San Diego has won four of seven versus the Dodgers this season, sweeping a three-game set in Los Angeles from April 15-17.