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Dodgers activate Paco Rodriguez from DL

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Rodriguez last pitched in a game on Aug. 3.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Dodgers left Los Angeles on Thursday with an expanded September roster but only one left-handed relief pitcher. But now J.P. Howell has company, one day after Scott Elbert rejoined the team, the Dodgers on Saturday reinstated Paco Rodriguez from the disabled list before their game against the Giants.

Rodriguez, 23, was on the disabled list for six weeks with a teres major muscle strain, the same injury that sidelined Clayton Kershaw in late March and April.

Rodriguez last pitched for the Dodgers on Aug. 3. He threw a pair of bullpen sessions this week, then a simulated game in San Francisco on Friday.

At the very least Rodriguez and Elbert provide some relief for J.P. Howell, who is ninth among National League southpaws with 64 appearances this season.

For Rodriguez, this could represent the opposite of 2013, when he spent the entire season as one of manager Don Mattingly's most trusted setup men, appearing in 76 games with a 2.32 ERA and a 30.3-percent strikeout rate. But whether from overuse or not Rodriguez faded down the stretch in September and October, and after a poor Division Series against Atlanta was left off the NLCS roster.

The 2014 has seen Rodriguez spend most of his time in Triple-A Albuquerque, where he was 2-3 with a 4.40 ERA in 32 games, with 35 strikeouts (27.8-percent strikeout rate) and 17 walks in 28⅔ innings. In 13 games this season with the Dodgers this season, Rodriguez has a 4.35 ERA with 11 strikeouts (27.5-percent strikeout rate) and three walks in 10⅓ innings.

The Dodgers active roster now has 36 players.