The Los Angeles Dodgers have gone from being a major
disappointment to NL West champions in less than three months.
After securing their first division title in four years,
visiting Los Angeles sends former San Diego Padres pitcher Edinson
Volquez to the mound Friday night.
Los Angeles sat in last place and was 9 1/2 games behind Arizona
with a 30-42 record after falling 5-2 to San Diego on June 21. It
improved to 58-23 since with Thursday’s 7-6 win over the
Diamondbacks to wrap up its first West championship since 2009.
Hanley Ramirez, hitting .447 over his last 10, went 4 for 5 with
a three-run homer and solo shot for the Dodgers (88-65), who won
for only the second time in seven games.
“I want to keep going,” Ramirez said. “I think that we’ve got a
couple of more steps to do. We’ve got to keep working and stay
together all the way through to the end.”
They’ll look to get on a roll behind Volquez (9-11, 5.94 ERA),
whose most recent disappointing start in San Diego also marked his
last in a Padres uniform.
The right-hander went 20-21 with a 4.96 ERA in 59 starts with
the Padres after being acquired from Cincinnati in the Mat Latos
trade Dec. 17, 2011. His stint in San Diego ended unceremoniously
Aug. 23, when he allowed six runs in two-thirds of an inning before
the Padres rallied to beat the Chicago Cubs 8-6.
Volquez was designated for assignment the next day and later
released before signing with the Dodgers on Aug. 30. His first
appearance with Los Angeles came in relief that same night, when he
pitched one scoreless inning in the Dodgers’ 9-2 home win over the
He’s gone 0-1 with a 5.74 ERA in three starts and is excited to
be receiving a fourth. Volquez left his last outing with a thumb
blister after giving up three runs and striking out seven in 5 2-3
innings of the Dodgers’ 4-3 loss to San Francisco on Sunday.
“They’re giving me four starts,” Volquez told the team’s
official website. “Maybe they like what they see.”
Padres fans surely didn’t like much of what they saw from
Volquez the last time he pitched at Petco Park, and he’s 4-7 with a
5.72 ERA in 14 starts there this season.
San Diego (71-81) has been outscored 22-6 while dropping five
straight to the Dodgers, including a three-game sweep Aug. 30-Sept.
1. It has won 11 of 16 since that series but had its four-game
winning streak snapped with Thursday’s 10-1 loss to Pittsburgh.
Rookie first baseman Tommy Medica drove in Chris Denorfia with a
single in the first inning to give him an RBI in three straight,
and fellow rookie Robbie Erlin (2-3, 5.18) will look to continue
his solid stretch Friday.
Erlin is 1-1 with a 2.60 ERA in three starts since being
recalled from the minors, though he’s received just four runs of
support during that stretch. He didn’t get any support while
allowing two runs in six innings of Saturday’s 2-1 loss to
“Robbie’s still developing,” manager Bud Black said. “Every
pitch he throws in the majors, it’s a learning experience for him.
Robbie pitched well enough to get a ‘W.'”
The left-hander, 1-0 with a 2.95 ERA in three home starts, has
yet to face the Dodgers.