Reaching second base, even if forced out, qualified as a rally for the Dodgers on Tuesday night.
The Dodgers have had a familiar pattern to their games of late. Nearly all games are close, if not one-run games; even last night's 3-0 loss saw the Dodgers bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning. The Dodgers have alternated wins and losses in their last eight games, and are 5-5 since sweeping Philadelphia.
They have managed to keep their heads above water without Matt Kemp, going 10-8 so far during his current stint on the disabled list. That has allowed them to maintain the best record in baseball, a distinction the Dodgers have held since May 12. The Dodgers currently own a half-game lead over the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers.
The Dodgers have reached 17 games over .500 six times this year, and have lost their next game in each case, including Tuesday night to the Oakland A's. To reach 17 games over .500 again on Wednesday, they will need to actually score some runs for Nathan Eovaldi.
Eovaldi makes his fifth start on Wednesday, still in search of his first win. He has allowed six total runs in those four starts, averaging just over six innings per start, but his record is 0-2 and the Dodgers have lost all four of his starts. The culprit has been the Dodger offense, which has scored four total runs for Eovaldi, including just two with him in the game.
That the Dodgers are 10-8 without Kemp is rather remarkable considering they are averaging just 3.89 runs per game during that span, hitting .240/.323/.321 as a team with five home runs. They have scored two runs or less in eight of those 18 games.
Former USC Trojans pitcher Tom Milone gets the start for Oakland. He has allowed 12 runs in nine innings over his last two starts, but those were on the road. At the pitcher-friendly confines of Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Milone has excelled. In five home starts this season, Milone has allowed five total runs and just one home run to the 137 batters he has faced, good for a 0.98 ERA. On the road, his ERA is 7.42 and includes 12 home runs allowed to 199 batters in eight starts.
The A's have made a change in their starting rotation, pushing Jarrod Parker back one day to Friday, per Ben Estes of MLB.com. Starting in Parker's place in Thursday's series finale will be Travis Blackley. The Dodgers faced Blackley twice earlier this season when he was a member of the Giants. In two relief outings, Blackely allowed five runs on five hits in two innings against the Dodgers.
Game Time: 7:07 p.m.