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Wed, Aug 1, 2012 - 3:10 PM ET
 

Diamondbacks-Dodgers Preview

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Having already made a blockbuster move last week, the Los Angeles Dodgers are hoping Shane Victorino will help put them over the top in their quest for the NL West title.

While the Arizona Diamondbacks, in contrast, stayed relatively quiet before the deadline, they suddenly find themselves in the thick of the division race.

With Victorino expected to make his Dodgers debut, Arizona tries for a sixth consecutive win in this series and its first three-game sweep at Chavez Ravine in five seasons Wednesday afternoon.

After acquiring Hanley Ramirez from Miami, Los Angeles (56-49) made another big splash Tuesday by sending Josh Lindblom and minor league pitcher Ethan Martin to Philadelphia in exchange for Victorino. The impending free agent was hitting .261 with nine homers and 24 stolen bases in 101 games with Philadelphia.

Los Angeles also bolstered its bullpen by acquiring Brandon League from Seattle for two prospects.

"It's been a whirlwind for the Dodger organization," team partner Magic Johnson said. "We're in it to win it. We don't want to wait till next year. We want to win right now."

"Hanley Ramirez has really improved our lineup, and now Shane - man, you need somebody with that type of speed. He's gutty, he's gritty, he's tough-minded, and I think he's going to help the locker room as well as on the field. And he's a guy who's done it. So we're excited about having him."

The Diamondbacks (53-51) pulled off a much smaller deal Tuesday, moving Craig Breslow to Boston in exchange for reliever Matt Albers and outfielder Scott Podsednik. They also recently acquired third baseman Chris Johnson from Houston, a move that's already paid dividends.

After hitting a grand slam in Monday's series opener, Johnson went 3 for 4 with two RBIs during Tuesday's 8-2 victory. Miguel Montero also came up big with a three-run homer while Paul Goldschmidt went deep for the second time in as many days.

Tuesday's result pulled the third-place Diamondbacks, winners of nine of 12, to within 2 1/2 games of the Dodgers. Los Angeles - combined with San Francisco's 4-1 win over the New York Mets - dropped into second place in the West.

"It's just the dynamics of the team. The pitching's been good and guys are picking each other up. That's all part of it," Diamondbacks shortstop Stephen Drew said.

"When you're in a race like this and you're still a ways to go, we just have to keep our rhythm going and have the confidence to go out every day and play as hard as you can. I've been here for seven years, and what's going to get us there is your pitching and defense, and timely hitting - and a hot streak."

Arizona, which has outscored Los Angeles 32-11 during its five-game winning streak in the series, hasn't completed a sweep at Dodger Stadium since Aug. 3-5, 2007.

The Dodgers give the ball to rookie Stephen Fife, who's still seeking his first decision despite posting a 1.46 ERA in two starts. The right-hander scattered six hits over 6 1-3 innings of one-run ball opposite Matt Cain in Friday's 5-3, 10-inning road win over the Giants.

"It doesn't matter to me who's across on the bump," he told the team's official website. "I've started against two guys that are All-Stars, but my job is to keep us in the game, battle and give us a chance and get as deep as I can."

The Diamondbacks are expected to recall Patrick Corbin (2-4, 4.15) from Triple-A Reno to take the mound Wednesday. The left-hander, who went 2-3 with a 5.27 ERA in five starts earlier this season, gave up two runs and seven hits over 5 1-3 innings during a 6-1 loss to the Dodgers May 21.

The Dodgers made room on the roster for Victorino by designating two-time All-Star Bobby Abreu for assignment. Abreu batted .251 with two home runs and 17 RBIs in 70 games as a part-time left fielder and pinch-hitter.

Tagged: Red Sox, Dodgers, Giants, Diamondbacks, Hanley Ramirez, Matt Cain, Shane Victorino, Matt Albers, Chris Johnson

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