The Dodgers recalled Ryan Pepiot from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Friday to make his third major league start, in the second of a four-game weekend series against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium. Phil Bickford was optioned to make room on the active roster for the right-hander.
Friday was the first day Pepiot could return (without replacing an injured player, at least) after spending the required 15 days for pitchers on optional assignment to the minor leagues. Pepiot actually pitched once for the Dodgers in the interim, but that was as the 27th player for a doubleheader on May 17, which does not count against time served.
|1B||Freeman (L)||3B||Rojas (L)|
|CF||Bellinger (L)||CF||Thomas (L)|
|DH||Ríos (L)||C||Herrera (S)|
Walks have been a problem for Pepiot in his first two major league starts, issuing eight free passes in his seven innings. He worked around the wildness to keep the Pirates scoreless in three innings in his debut, but these D-backs got him for three runs in four innings 10 days ago in Los Angeles.
Pepiot last pitched Sunday for Oklahoma City, beating the Sugar Land Space Cowboys, the Astros’ Triple-A affiliate, with five scoreless innings and six strikeouts, allowing one hit. In seven starts for Oklahoma City this season, the 24-year-old has a 1.72 ERA with 42 strikeouts (a 33.3-percent rate) and 13 walks in 31⅓ innings.
Bickford has a 3.45 ERA in his 17 games, the latter tied with Brusdar Graterol and Evan Phillips for most appearances on the staff. Bickford, who has 13 strikeouts against two walks in his 15⅔ innings this season, pitched a scoreless eighth inning in Thursday night’s blowout.
Bickford has fallen down the leverage ladder a bit this season, with the closest Dodgers lead at the start of an appearance in May up four runs. Bickford’s last six outings, beginning May 15, began with the Dodgers trailing by three runs, up nine, up four, down three, ahead by 10, and up by 11 runs.