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Joe Blanton returns from bereavement leave, Dodgers option Luis Avilan to Triple-A

Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson will start for Dodgers Saturday and Sunday

Colorado Rockies v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers will have Joe Blanton back in their bullpen on Friday for their series against the Pirates, with the relief pitcher back from the bereavement list after missing three games.

Luis Avilan was optioned to Triple-A to make room on the active roster for Blanton.

Blanton was placed on the bereavement list on Monday, and per baseball rules had to miss a minimum of three games, with a maximum of seven.

Blanton leads Dodgers reliever in both games (54) and innings (58) this season, and has been one of manager Dave Roberts’ most trusted setup men, putting up a 2.64 ERA and 3.36 FIP, with 56 strikeouts and 14 unintentional walks.

Avilan has a 5.91 ERA in 16 games in three different major league stints with the Dodgers this season, striking out 16 with four intentional walks in 10⅔ innings.

In other news, Brandon McCarthy seems to have figured some things out with his control problem that surfaced in his last two starts, and he will start Saturday for the Dodgers, manager Dave Roberts told reporters on Friday.

Roberts also said that Brett Anderson will start on Sunday. It will be the 2016 debut for Anderson, who had back surgery in March.