As expected, the Dodgers before their game tonight activated Rafael Furcal from the disabled list. Furcal, who missed 37 games earlier this season with a broken left thumb, missed 26 games this time around with a strained left oblique. Dee Gordon gets a temporary reprieve, as Casey Blake was placed on the 15-day disabled list, with a cervical strain, to make room for Furcal.
Rafael Furcal has missed 282 of the Dodgers last 582 games, dating back to the end of the 2007 season.
Blake was limited to pinch hitting duty for about two weeks, but last weekend it was decided by the training staff to let Blake sink or swim by playing everyday, that he couldn't do any further permanent damage to his neck by playing. He started the last six games, hitting .238/.407/.381 with a home run and six walks. Blake exited Saturday night's game in the seventh inning.
As for the infield alignment, there are no plans to play Furcal at second base, and he figures to play every day at shortstop. Gordon is likely to be optioned at some point in the next few days just , especially if Furcal is healthy enough to play every day. "If Dee's here, he's got to play," said manager Don Mattingly. "Dee definitely is the future at short, just not at this moment."
In other news, Ted Lilly threw his bullpen session on Saturday, and reported no soreness today, Mattingly said. Lilly is scheduled to pitch Tuesday against New York, on six days rest.
Chad Billingsley has rebounded in his last two starts after struggling in his first three starts of June. In his last two starts, both wins, Billingsley has allowed one run in 11 1/3 innings, with four walks and 10 strikeouts. Billingsley has allowed 16 runs in his last 17 2/3 innings against the Angels, spanning three starts, dating back to 2009.
Ervin Santana takes the mound for the Angels ready to prove that he is much better than his 3-8 record would indicate. Santana has a 4.08 ERA this season, and his 2.71 strikeout-to-walk ratio is the second best of his career, trailing only his All-Star campaign in 2008. Santana has allowed exactly two runs in each of his last three starts, with a combined five walks and 18 strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings.
Game Time: 5:05 p.m.