After a tough loss in their last game, the Los Angeles Dodgers
are giving some early rest to some of their best players in their
Manny Ramirez and Russell Martin will get the day off and Andre
Ethier won’t start Sunday when the Dodgers close a three-game
series against the Florida Marlins.
Los Angeles (2-3) failed to win a third straight Saturday,
losing 7-6 after the Marlins scored three times in the ninth. Jorge
Cantu hit a sacrifice fly off George Sherrill to cap the rally.
Sherrill came in to close instead of Jonathan Broxton, who was
unavailable after pitching in back-to-back games.
“You need 27 outs,” manager Joe Torre said. “We couldn’t get
Ramirez was 1 for 4, driving in a run during a three-run third
and recording his 2,500th career hit. He’s batting .316 with four
RBIs, but Torre said he and Martin, who is hitting .364, will both
get the day off Sunday. Ethier, held out of the starting lineup
Saturday because of a sore ankle, hit a two-run, pinch-hit single
in the eighth to put the Dodgers ahead, but will not start
The absence of some of Los Angeles’ top hitters may give the
Marlins (3-2) a chance to win their second straight series after
they took two of three against the Mets. Pinch-hitter Ronny Paulino
had a two-run double to tie the game in the ninth as Florida
overcome another shaky performance from its pitching staff which
allowed six or more runs for the fourth time this season.
The bullpen has a 5.82 ERA with two blown saves in four
The Dodgers will hand the ball to Charlie Haeger, who was named
to an opening-day roster for the first time in his career.
The knuckleballer, who also has played for the White Sox and San
Diego, is 2-3 with a 5.26 ERA in 25 appearances over four seasons,
including four starts. He pitched in six games with the Dodgers
last season – three as a starter – going 1-1 with a 3.32 ERA.
“His versatility is a plus,” Torre said of Haeger, who hasn’t
faced the Marlins. “We’ll give him a shot.”
Because Martin will be unavailable to start Sunday, Los Angeles
recalled A.J. Ellis from Triple-A Albuquerque to catch for Haeger.
Backup Brad Ausmus was placed on the 15-day disabled list for the
first time in his career with a pinched nerve in his back.
The Marlins will counter with Anibal Sanchez, who went 1-3 with
a 6.38 ERA in six spring starts, but was satisfied that he finished
healthy after being limited to 16 starts in 2009 because of
Sanchez went 4-8 with a 3.87 ERA last season.
“This is awesome,” Sanchez told the Marlins’ official Web site.
“From my first start of spring training, I said this is the first
time I’ve felt like I did a long time ago. When I go to bed at
night, I say, ‘Thank you God for that.’ Now I’m forgetting about
everything before. I’m forgetting about ’06, ’07, ’08 and ’09. I’m
starting over. It’s a new season. New everything.”
The right-hander is 0-1 with a 1.50 ERA in two starts against
the Dodgers, but hasn’t faced them since 2006.