The acquisition of Kevin Correia not only provides the Los Angeles Dodgers with a veteran arm, but immediately gives manager Don Mattingly a chance to give his starters some extra rest.
Correia is expected to make his debut for the NL-leading Dodgers as they try to halt Julio Teheran’s success at home for the Atlanta Braves on Monday night.
Amidst 20 straight days without a day off, Los Angeles (67-52) was scheduled to start Dan Haren in this game, but instead will go with Correia, who was acquired from Minnesota on Saturday.
”As of right now, we’ll use (Correia) for a spot start and out of the bullpen,” Mattingly said. ”Hypothetically speaking, during this stretch of games in a row we can give our guys a bit of a breather.”
An All-Star with Pittsburgh in 2011, Correia was 5-13 with a 4.94 ERA in 23 starts for the Twins this season. However, the right-hander has yielded four earned runs in 12 innings in his last two.
The move came two days after Los Angeles acquired Roberto Hernandez from Philadelphia to replace the injured Josh Beckett (hip) in the rotation.
"I’m getting toward the end of my career and you want to play in some meaningful games," said Correia, a Southern California native who has pitched for San Diego and San Francisco.
He is 3-3 with a 4.24 ERA in eight starts versus Atlanta (60-57).
Teammate Adrian Gonzalez is 9 for 14 with three doubles, two home runs and seven RBIs in the last four contests. He had two doubles and two RBIs as the Dodgers salvaged the finale of their three-game set at Milwaukee with a 5-1 victory on Sunday.
”Hopefully it gets us going in the right direction again,” Mattingly said.
Los Angeles swept a three-game home set from the Braves to conclude July. That was the beginning of Atlanta’s season-high eight-game slide which it followed by taking two of three from NL East-leading Washington.
Gonzalez went 5 for 13 with three doubles and three RBIs against the Braves last month. He was 2 for 3 with an RBI double July 31 against Teheran (10-8, 2.92 ERA), who also yielded a homer to Yasiel Puig, and struck out nine in eight innings of a 2-1 defeat to Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers.
”He did a great job against a dangerous lineup with a lot of good hitters,” teammate Tommy La Stella said. ”He kept them off-balance all night and gave us a shot.”
However, the right-hander followed that solid effort by giving up six runs in six innings of a 7-3 loss at Seattle on Wednesday.
Teheran might have a good chance to bounce back at Turner Field, where he’s 4-1 with a 1.48 ERA and recorded a quality start in each of his 11 outings there. He has allowed seven runs while striking out 51 with nine walks over 51 innings to go 4-0 in seven starts since his only home defeat against San Francisco on May 3.
Justin Upton, who homered in Atlanta’s 3-1 win over Washington on Sunday, is 5 for 12 with a homer and three RBIs versus Los Angeles this season.
He’s batting .364 (16 for 44) with four doubles and a home run against Correia.
The Dodgers placed shortstop Hanley Ramirez on the disabled list Sunday with an oblique strain.
"This assures (us) he’ll be available down the stretch, Mattingly said of Ramirez, who is batting .277 with 12 homers and 58 RBIs.