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Paul Maholm leaves on crutches, to have MRI on right knee

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Dodgers pitcher Paul Maholm injured his right knee in Friday night's 8-2 loss to the Cubs, and could be out a while. The team awaits results of an MRI exam done after the game, per David Vassegh of Dodger Talk.

Maholm pitched two innings in relief on Friday, allowing a run on two hits. To close out the seventh inning, his second inning of work, Maholm covered first base on a ground out by Arismendy Alcantara. After fielding a throw from first baseman Scott Van Slyke, Maholm collapsed after touching first base.

The timing was unfortunate for both Maholm and the Dodgers, as the left-hander was the most likely in-house solution to replace the struggling Dan Haren should the Dodgers decide to make a change in the starting rotation.

Haren lost his fifth straight game on Friday night, and has allowed 27 runs in his last 23⅓ innings.

Maholm is 1-5 with a 4.84 ERA on the season in 30 games, including eight starts, with 34 strikeouts and 28 walks in 70⅔ innings. He has stared once in the last 2½ months, pitching six scoreless innings against the Padres on July 12.

There hasn't been an indication yet that Haren will be replaced in the rotation, though it's not something that would necessarily have been addressed directly after Friday's loss. But once that spot in the rotation comes up next, on Wednesday in Anaheim, the options in Triple-A Albuquerque include Red Patterson, who is on the 40-man and is scheduled to start for the Isotopes on Sunday. a Zach Lee started Thursday night, and Carlos Frias is scheduled to pitch Monday, though neither one is on the 40-man roster.

Bottom line, the in-house options aren't terribly appealing.

But in the interim, it's likely Maholm will need to be replaced in the bullpen, so look for an Isotopes reliever to potentially join the team on Saturday. Paco Rodriguez, the last one called up to the big club, pitched a scoreless inning on Friday night, just his second appearance in the last seven days.