The White Sox are in town to face the Dodgers, which means Robin Ventura returns to Dodger Stadium, where he ended his 16-year playing career in 2004. Ventura, then 36, hit .243/.337/.362 with five home runs in 102 games for the division-winning Dodgers, Ventura's favorite team growing up. Ventura had an easy answer for his favorite memory of Dodger Stadium.
"When Steve Finley hit a home run to win the west, I don't know if it gets any better than that," Ventura said. "I don't know what I hit that year, but I know we won the west; 2004 was a great year, having grown up a Dodger fan and coming to games here as a kid. Playing here was just special."
Ventura's third baseman is another former Dodger, Orlando Hudson, who was signed on May 22 after getting released by the San Diego Padres. Hudson hit .211/.260/.317 in 35 games with the Padres, and has hit just .190/.292/.333 in 20 games with Chicago, but Ventura likes what he sees from Hudson defensively while filling in for the injured Brent Morel at third base.
"For not having played third base for 10 years, he's doing a good job," Ventura said. "You can tell he feels uneasy but he still makes the plays."
Prior to joining the White Sox, Hudson's previous 1,268 career games in the field all came at second base.
Back to the Dodgers, Mark Ellis took batting practice Friday with the team, and will travel with the team to Oakland next week, continuing to increase his baseball activities. "He's going to be doing more and more baseball work," manager Don Mattingly said.
Aaron Miles will also likely join the Dodgers in Oakland, or maybe a week later in San Francisco, but it will only be in a visiting capacity. Miles is staying retired, a decision Mattingly said he didn't try to talk Miles out of making.
"He's happy; he's in a good place," Mattingly said. "He was solid with his thinking."
This is the fourth time in five years the Dodgers are playing the White Sox in interleague play, something Mattingly didn't quite understand. "It doesn't make any sense to me. I don't get it," he said.
When Mattingly met with reporters on Friday, he had an air cast on his right elbow for what he called tennis elbow. How did he get suffer the elbow injury? "I've been giving too many bunt signs," Mattingly joked.
Elian Herrera makes his first start in left field tonight. He has played two innings defensively there earlier this season, in two games.
|CF||De Aza (L)||SS||Gordon (L)|
|3B||Hudson (S)||CF||Gwynn (L)|
|P||Sale (L)||P||Kershaw (L)
Game Time: 7:10 p.m.
TV: Prime Ticket