Finally healthy, Josh Beckett appears ready to once again take the mound for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The right-hander is expected to make his first start in almost 11 months Wednesday night when the Dodgers look to sweep their two-game set with the visiting Detroit Tigers.
Beckett is 2-8 with a 4.07 ERA in 15 starts since Los Angeles (6-3) acquired him in a blockbuster trade with Boston that also brought Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford to southern California in August 2012. He went 0-5 with a 5.19 ERA in eight starts last year before his season ended May 13, and then had a rib removed to alleviate a nerve problem and finger numbness.
Tabbed the team’s No. 5 starter, Beckett landed on the DL during spring training when he slammed his thumb in a door. While making a rehab start, Beckett also sprained his ankle fielding a bunt.
But after completing a full bullpen session over the weekend, he appears set to go.
"He looks like the guy," manager Don Mattingly told the Dodgers’ official website of Beckett’s status.
Beckett, 0-3 with a 6.20 ERA in his last four starts versus Detroit, is ready to help the Dodgers any way he can.
"I felt they treated me really good through everything, and I feel like I want to repay that," he said during spring training.
It’s uncertain if outfielder Yasiel Puig will join Beckett in the lineup or miss a third straight game with a thumb injury.
Regardless, the Dodgers will try for a third consecutive victory after pulling out a 3-2, 10-inning win over Detroit (4-2) on Tuesday. Kenley Jansen allowed a two-out, tying single in the ninth, but Crawford doubled home Chone Figgins from first an inning later.
Crawford had three hits after going 5 for 22 in his first six games.
Austin Jackson homered for one of the five hits for Detroit, which has dropped two straight since starting 4-0.
The Tigers were competitive despite the cloud of a sexual assault complaint against talented young reliever Evan Reed hanging over the club.
”I’ve been on teams where there’s been off-field issues," manager Brad Ausmus said. "But once the bell rings, once the first pitch is thrown, it’s all business."
Miguel Cabrera went 0 for 4, and is 2 for 11 with four strikeouts in his last four games at Dodger Stadium. He’s 4 for 19 (.211) versus Beckett, but two of those hits were home runs.
Detroit’s Torii Hunter bruised his knee chasing a fly ball Tuesday and left the game before the bottom of the fifth but is optimistic he’ll be in the lineup.
"But it’s not going to keep me out – hopefully not at all, and I’ll be ready to go tomorrow," he said.
Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez (0-0, 4.50 ERA) had his season debut cut short after four innings because of a rain delay during Friday’s 10-4 win over Baltimore. Bothered by shoulder inflammation during spring training, the right-hander allowed two runs, two hits and walked three with three strikeouts on 69 pitches.
"Considering he had the shoulder issue in spring training, his pitch count didn’t get over 70 much, we just felt like we didn’t want to push him," Ausmus told the Tigers’ official website. "I’m sure he would have wanted to go back out, but it was just a situation we were thinking more long-term."
Sanchez is 0-1 with a 3.52 ERA in four starts against the Tigers, but hasn’t faced them since 2011 with the Marlins.