Dodgers change rotation, Ryu starting vs. Padres

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers will make a rotation shuffle Sunday, swapping left-handers for the series finale against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium.

With a 1 p.m. local start, what they won’t have to worry about is a power failure after Dodger Stadium went dark Saturday for the second time in almost four weeks in the middle of a game.

Instead of lefty Alex Wood, the Dodgers will now have lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu take aim at the Padres with the chance at a series sweep on the line. Wood will now be pushed back to Wednesday, which is the finale of a brief two-game interleague series at Texas.

No reason was given for the change, although Wood has been struggling with nagging injuries this season that was originally diagnosed as leg cramps in a couple of early starts. He eventually went on the disabled list earlier this month for left adductor tendonitis.

The Padres will stick to their original plan as left-hander Robbie Erlin will make his seventh start, including his fifth this month. Erlin has spent most of the season in the bullpen but in four previous August starts, he has put together a 3.43 ERA, earning two victories in the process.

With the Padres looking to make some rotation changes in the coming weeks, every outing is sure to be picked apart. Lefty Eric Lauer (forearm strain) could be back as early as next week. Lis Perdomo (strained right shoulder) could be back not long after that.

“We’re going to continue to talk through our rotation plan (we had) coming out of the break,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “Nothing is finalized at this point and time. (Lauer) is a candidate to be reinserted at some point in time next week.”

Ryu knows all about an up-in-the-air status, having spent 3 1/2 months on the disabled list with a left groin strain. He has made two starts since returning, a tidy six-inning start Aug. 15 when he held the San Francisco Giants scoreless over six innings, and a start Tuesday against the St. Louis Cardinals when he gave up three runs on four hits over four innings.

Despite having starter Kenta Maeda working out of the bullpen, the Dodgers will use just four pitchers this time through the rotation: Ryu, Walker Buehler, Rich Hill and Clayton Kershaw.

The Dodgers moved 2 1/2 games behind the co-division leaders Arizona and Colorado and they do not sound like a club that will take a game on Sunday against the last-place and struggling Padres for granted.

“Everything needs to be tightened up as we move toward September,” Hill said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “As we know, things get amplified. And you want to be able to be as close to perfection as we can. … We’ll continue playing like there’s no tomorrow.”

The future does look bright for a Padres organization loaded with quality prospects. The present, though, is a bit unsightly with 10 defeats in their last 12 games, including a bad-luck loss that happened Saturday on the first pitch after the power was restored in L.A.

The Dodgers entered the current series 8-12 in August, but are now on the verge of their first three-game series sweep since July 2-4 at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates.