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LAD@HOU: De La Rosa debuts with a scoreless frame

Usually, players making their first Major League start feel a combination of excitement or nerves swirling through their stomach as the big day nears.

Dodgers right-hander Rubby De La Rosa said he isn't one of those players.

"No, I'm not excited," De La Rosa said. "It's what starters do. They start. I'm not nervous. I never get nervous. I don't feel butterflies when I pitch; I don't feel anything. I grew up in the streets. How can I be scared of anything compared to that?"

On Tuesday, De La Rosa will make his first Major League start when the Dodgers oppose the Phillies and Roy Oswalt in the second act of a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park. Although Tuesday will mark De La Rosa's first career start, it won't be his debut, as the 22-year-old has already made three relief appearances for the Dodgers. While in the Minors, De La Rosa was mostly groomed as a starter, but he said he doesn't care which role he assumes for the Dodgers.

"As long as I'm helping the team win," De La Rosa said. "Relief is a little different. Relievers have to concentrate on every pitch; they have to attack hitters a little more than a starter. As a starter, you have to conserve your energy a little. You have to pace yourself."

Since being signed as an amateur free agent by the Dodgers in 2007, De La Rosa made his way through the Minor League ranks. He made his big league debut on May 24, and while he's been living his dream, De La Rosa has been unable to share it with this grandmother, who raised him in the Dominican Republic. She died in April without seeing De La Rosa pitch in the Majors.

"Yes, I'm disappointed she didn't see me play here, but she's watching," De La Rosa said. "I know she's very proud. I think of her all the time, especially before my first pitch in my first game. I dedicate it all to her."

In his first career start, De La Rosa will oppose Oswalt, who is 8-3 with a 2.84 ERA in 12 career games (11 starts) against the Dodgers. Oswalt hasn't won since returning from the disabled list in mid-May, but he pitched well in his last outing, against the Nationals, despite being lifted for a pinch-hitter in the top of the sixth inning.

Oswalt has thrown more than six innings in only one of his four starts since returning from the DL, and the right-hander said he's focused on working deeper into games. Oswalt said his back is feeling fine and that he's continually trying to build arm strength.

Dodgers: Flurry of moves
Los Angeles made numerous moves prior to Monday's 3-1 loss to the Phillies, bringing back familiar faces from the DL and welcoming an exciting young prospect. Marcus Thames, Blake Hawksworth and Juan Uribe were reinstated from the 15-day DL, and the Dodgers purchased the contract of shortstop Dee Gordon from Triple-A Albuquerque. Gordon -- the No. 44 overall prospect in baseball, according to's preseason rankings -- was hitting .315 with 22 stolen bases for Triple-A Albuquerque. To make room for the four additions, Los Angeles optioned Ivan De Jesus and John Ely to Triple-A and designated Jay Gibbons and Juan Castro for assignment.

Phillies: Home sweet home
Monday's contest was the beginning of an 11-game homestand for the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, where they are 20-10 this season. Philadelphia's .667 home winning percentage is second highest in the Majors behind Milwaukee's .750 mark. The Brewers are 21-7 at Miller Park.

• First baseman/outfielder Ross Gload returned from paternity leave on Monday. Outfielder John Mayberry Jr. was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley following Sunday's game.

Worth noting
• Monday was the first time the Phillies and Dodgers met this season. Philadelphia was 4-2 against Los Angeles last year, including 2-1 at home. The Phillies have won three straight games against the Dodgers.

• This series marks Dodgers first-base coach Davey Lopes' first trip back to Philadelphia after serving the previous four seasons with the Phillies in the same capacity. Comments