Published April 21, 2014
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Dodgers aim to keep rolling with the Philadelphia Phillies in town Monday for the opener of a four-game series.
The Dodgers began a 10-game homestand by taking two of three against the Arizona Diamondbacks and recorded a 4-1 victory on Easter Sunday. Yasiel Puig belted a three-run homer during a four-run sixth inning, while Carl Crawford tripled, scored a run and had an RBI.
Adrian Gonzalez doubled on Sunday to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. He is batting .350 with a .400 on-base percentage, five home runs and 16 RBI in that stretch.
Dodgers starting pitcher Josh Beckett did not figure into the decision and left the game with five scoreless innings and seven strikeouts.
"I've done a decent job my last couple of outings," said Beckett. "There is always room for improvement. I need to work on my spots."
Jamey Wright tossed a scoreless sixth inning for the win in relief and Kenley Jansen struck out the side in the ninth for his seventh save.
The Dodgers had just five hits on Sunday, but were able to win for the sixth time in nine tries. The ballclub received some good news on ace left-hander Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw, hampered by a back issue, threw a simulated game on Sunday and is quickly approaching a Minor League rehab assignment.
"We need him to be healthy and compete," Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly said. "It's not about going seven innings. If he throws four innings, we've got to cover five with the bullpen. I think we want him built up to the point to compete."
Kershaw is trying to build back his arm strength and won his only start March 22 against Arizona in Sydney, Australia.
Paul Maholm gets the nod for Mattingly's club Monday versus the Phillies and is 0-1 with a 4.97 earned run average in five games (2 starts). Maholm previously toed the rubber in a 2-1 loss at San Francisco last Wednesday and hurled six solid innings of one-run ball. Maholm will face the Phillies for the 13th time in his career and has a 5-3 record to go along with a 4.63 ERA.
The Phillies avoided a three-game sweep at the hands of the Colorado Rockies with a 10-9 win on Easter Sunday. In a four-hour back-and-forth affair, the Phillies went ahead for good in the eighth inning on a run-scoring single from Jimmy Rollins and an RBI fielder's choice by Chase Utley.
Charlie Blackmon pulled the Rockies within one on a home run in the bottom half of the inning, but the Phillies were able to close the door with their relievers. Phils relief pitcher Jake Diekman was credited with the win even though he gave up Justin Morneau's game-tying two-run homer in the seventh.
Jonathan Papelbon got his fifth save and starter Roberto Hernandez escaped with a no-decision after he permitted six runs and nine hits in four innings.
Rollins had three hits, including a home run, and Ryan Howard was 4-for-5 with a home run, three RBI and three runs scored. He fell a double shy of hitting for the cycle, as the Phillies won for only the second time in six tries.
"It was well overdue," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "Just some good at-bats. Howard really broke out in a good way. It was good to see that good contact. Hitting balls to left centerfield is a good thing for him. He broke out in a big way
Both teams banged out 15 hits.
The Phillies, who had posted just three runs in its previous four games, will also visit Arizona on this west coast sojourn.
Cliff Lee hopes to receive some run support when he leads Philadelphia into Dodger Stadium Monday night. The Phillies have scored a total of two runs in Lee's last two outings and dropped a 1-0 decision to Atlanta last Wednesday with the left-handed ace on the hill.
Lee did allow 11 hits, but gave up just a run with 13 strikeouts and one walk in nine innings of work. He permitted three runs in six innings of a 6-2 loss to Milwaukee on April 10 after his first two appearances.
The southpaw is 2-2 with a 4.00 earned run average and 2-2 with a 1.70 ERA in seven career starts against the Dodgers.
L.A. went 5-2 against the Phillies last season and won three of four games at Dodger Stadium from June 27-30.