The Dodgers look for their second straight win over the Marlins on Saturday night as Hiroki Kuroda looks to rebound from last Sunday's loss in Chicago. Brian Sanches gets the start for the Marlins, in what really is a bullpen game for Florida.
Kuroda is 1-1 with a 3.12 ERA in five career starts against the Marlins, with three walks and 29 strikeouts in 34 2/3 innings. The only two players currently on Florida with more than six plate appearances against Kuroda are Hanley Ramirez (3-for-15 with a double, .467 OPS) and Chris Coghlan (1-for-11). Only one Marlin has any sort of success against Kuroda, as Mike Stanton was 1-for-3 with a three-run home run last July.
Sanches is making his first career start after 166 relief appearances. He picked up the win on April 25 in Miami, when Jonathan Broxton blew the save. "I'd say more pitch count than innings," Marlins' manager Edwin Rodriguez told MLB.com of his starter's durability tonight. "About 50 or 60 pitches. If he can give us three or four innings, that's good enough."
- Vicente Padilla will begin a rehab assignment with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on Sunday. The Quakes return home tomorrow in a 2:05 p.m. start against Lake Elsinore. Padilla will also likely pitch Monday or Tuesday for the Quakes as well, though the plan hasn't yet been determined by pitching coach Rick Honeycutt and trainer Stan Conte.
- Marcus Thames, who has been sidelined with a right quad injury since May 2, will begin his rehab assignment on Sunday with the Triple A Albuquerque Isotopes. Manager Don Mattingly said since Thames has missed so much time he will need a longer rehab assignment to get enough at-bats
- Jonathan Broxton has been throwing off flat ground with increased intensity, and will likely accompany the Dodgers on their upcoming road trip, which begins Friday, though only to throw bullpen sessions under the watchful eye of the coaching staff
Rafael Furcal, who was activated from the disabled list last Sunday, is just 1-for-22 since his return (and 6-for-48 on the season). However, Mattingly said physically Furcal is fine and the thumb isn't bothering the shortstop. "It's just a timing thing with Furcal," Mattingly said.
- Mattingly said he chose Juan Castro to pinch hit in the seventh inning last night rather than Jerry Sands because Mattingly knew he wanted Rubby De La Rosa to pitch two innings and he was going to double switch. Mattingly said he was saving Sands for a spot, if needed, later in the game.
- Speaking of Sands, Mattingly was talking about the structure of his bench once Thames returns, and didn't rule out the rookie remaining with the club. Mattingly said there would be enough playing time for Sands by sitting James Loney and Andre Ethier occasionally against left-handers, though not a strict platoon. However, when asked directly if there was no possibility Sands would be optioned to Triple A, Mattingly said, "I don't want to say no possibility, but decisions will have to be made."
Game Time: 7:10 p.m.
TV: Prime Ticket