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Dodgers counting on Yu Darvish to deliver

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

SAN DIEGO -- Yu Darvish has been a work in progress since joining the Dodgers, and he continues that effort on Saturday night in the second game of a doubleheader against the Padres at Petco Park.

Darvish has made four starts since joining the Dodgers, posting a 3.13 ERA with 29 strikeouts and seven walks in 23 innings. He’s also given up four home runs in his last two starts, and six total runs in 11 innings.

He is also changing his delivery with the help of Rick Honeycutt, trying to fix flaws that arose after Tommy John surgery wiped out Darvish’s 2015 season and part of 2016.

Game 2 lineups

Pos Dodgers Pos Padres
Pos Dodgers Pos Padres
SS Taylor 2B Asuaje (L)
RF Granderson (L) SS Aybar (S)
3B Turner 3B Spangenberg (L)
C Grandal (S) 1B Sanchez (S)
1B Gonzalez (L) RF Blash
2B Utley (L) CF Szczur
LF Ethier (L) LF Cordoba
CF Verdugo (L) C Torrens
P Darvish P Lyles
Time: 7:10 p.m. PT TV: SportsNet LA

“Yu is very athletic. He has high aptitude. In talking with him and talking with Honey, after the surgery there are certain things mechanically that manifested themselves in trying to protect and guard against the elbow,” manager Dave Roberts said. “The angles of his shoulders and the lower half, all that put together has kind of evolved and got away from what he normally does.”

Darvish spent 10 days on the disabled list with a back strain, though that was more of the Dodgers getting Darvish some planned rest with a gigantic division lead and the playoffs in mind.

“Each time he takes the mound, it’s getting better. The goal is to get him right by the postseason, and pitch his best in October,” Roberts said. “He is a frontline starter in the postseason.”

After starting a gaggle of right-handers in the opener of the doubleheader, the Dodgers have six left-handed batters (well, five and a switch-hitter in Yasmani Grandal) against right-hander Jordan Lyles in the nightcap.

Alex Verdugo is the only Dodger to start both games of the doubleheader. He bats eighth and plays center field for the third straight game.

Game 2 info

Time: 7:10 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA