After a tough July, Josh Beckett hopes to get back on track this month for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Coming off back-to-back rough outings, Beckett attempts to put at end to his struggles Sunday against the Chicago Cubs.
Through the first three months of the season, Beckett (6-5, 2.74 ERA) posted a 2.02 ERA while going 5-4 over 15 starts. Then came July, when he went 1-1 with a 6.50 ERA in four starts that were interrupted by a stint on the disabled list with a hip injury.
Beckett didn’t last more than five innings in any of those outings, and allowed eight runs and 15 hits over eight innings in two since coming off the DL on July 22.
The right-hander gave up four runs, nine hits and walked four in 4 1-3 innings of an 8-4 win over Atlanta on Tuesday. Beckett, who allowed nine runs in 9 1-3 innings of two July home starts, is 0-4 with a 3.93 ERA in his last six starts at Dodger Stadium – getting seven total runs of support.
Manager Don Mattingly didn’t seem overly concerned with the recent issues of Beckett, who hasn’t faced Chicago (46-63) since 2005.
"Everybody’s not going to be good every time out," Mattingly told MLB’s official website. "I know (Clayton Kershaw) is pretty good every time out, and (Zack) Greinke’s pretty good. And Hyun-Jin (Ryu).
"You can get to everybody else’s four and five guys, you’re not really sure exactly what you’re going to get every time out. (Beckett and Dan Haren) have been pretty good for us. I expect them to be good now going forward and give us some good games. I feel pretty confident about that."
Los Angeles (63-48) was held to two runs through 11 innings Saturday before Hanley Ramirez’s three-run homer in the 12th gave the NL West leaders their seventh win in eight games.
"That’s what we’re here for – to win games," Ramirez said.
The Dodgers could find themselves in good position to do so against Edwin Jackson (5-11, 5.79 ERA), who is 0-6 with a 6.44 ERA in his last eight road starts and 0-4 with a 7.39 ERA in his last seven overall. He allowed three runs, six hits and walked three while throwing 105 pitches in four innings of a 4-3, 16-inning home win over Colorado on Tuesday.
"We have to try to put our finger on what it is, whatever the stumbling block is," manager Rick Renteria told MLB’s official website. "He’s going to get the ball again and give us another shot."
The right-hander, who spent his first three seasons with the Dodgers, is 3-2 with a 3.46 ERA in six starts against them.
After suffering a knee bruise during the Dodgers’ 8-2 loss Friday, Adrian Gonzalez struck out in a pinch-hitting role in the 12th. It’s uncertain if he’ll be in the lineup Sunday.
Chicago’s Starlin Castro has recorded three hits in each of the first two of the set.