Padilla's acquisition has been paying off
Los Angeles (81-57) at Arizona (61-77), 12:40 p.m. PT
LOS ANGELES -- When the Dodgers picked up Vicente Padilla off the waiver wire on Aug. 19, it was unclear just what they were getting.Padilla is a veteran pitcher, and he's had successful stretches on the mound during his career. But there was also the fact that the Texas Rangers designated him for assignment, and that he left the club on bad terms. In his first two starts with the Dodgers, though, Padilla has been more than serviceable. Padilla has allowed three runs on 10 hits and has struck out nine in 10 1/3 innings. Los Angeles won both games Padilla started and will look to claim No. 3 when he takes the mound on Monday against the D-backs in Phoenix. "You can see he competes," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "I thought his last start was better than his first one. The first one playing in that thin air in Colorado, I don't think he had as much sink on the ball. I thought he was better out here." In his start at Dodger Stadium, Padilla overcame a rocky first inning to pitch 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball. "You can see the experience coming out when he didn't let the wheels come off at that point in time," Torre said. Padilla's insertion into the rotation -- along with the return of Hiroki Kuroda and the acquisition of Jon Garland -- gives the Dodgers an excess of starting pitchers. Torre said that he's going to go with a six-man rotation through the Dodgers' road trip to Phoenix and San Francisco. While many in baseball would say it's important for pitchers to stay on their five-day routines, Torre isn't concerned about any negative effects from adding another arm to the mix. "It's just one of those things you'd rather have too many than too few," Torre said. "This time of year, I don't think an extra day or two hurts anybody -- especially the guys that throw the ball hard. "Finesse pitchers are a little bit different. They may need to work as close to their day as possible because they're more a feel and touch type of pitcher. With [Clayton] Kershaw and [Chad] Billingsley and those guys, I think the extra day or so doesn't hurt them." Pitching matchup
LAD: RHP Vicente Padilla (9-6, 4.72 ERA)
Padilla is expected to return after an extra day off. He sustained a bruised calf when he was struck by a line drive in the first inning against Arizona on Tuesday, but he hung in there to allow one run in 5 1/3 innings for his second effective start since being picked up by the Dodgers. He escaped a first-inning jam after a mound meeting with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt resulted in an immediate five extra mph on his fastball. ARI: RHP Max Scherzer (9-8, 4.10 ERA)
Scherzer helped the D-backs secure a series split in Los Angeles last week, earning a 4-1 win on Wednesday, when he allowed one run on seven hits and a walk while striking out four over 7 2/3 innings. The victory put him on a bit of a roll, going 2-0 with a 3.95 ERA over his last two starts. He has faced the Dodgers one other time, on May 5 in L.A., putting up a quality start but earning a loss. He pitched six innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks while striking out four. Though he has won twice in as many games at home, his ERA is 0.76 better on the road.
The Dodgers are 9-6 against the D-backs this season and went 10-8 against them last year. ... Fans in the Dodgers' My Town section on Sunday were treated to all-you-eat Taiwanese-themed food. ... Sunday marked the Dodgers' fifth appearance on Sunday Night Baseball this season.
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Tuesday: Dodgers (Chad Billingsley, 12-9, 3.86) at Diamondbacks (Billy Buckner, 2-6, 8.29), 6:40 p.m. PT
Wednesday: Dodgers (Jon Garland, 9-11, 4.23) at Diamondbacks (Dan Haren, 13-8, 2.78), 7:10 p.m. PT
David Ely is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.