The Los Angeles Dodgers are hoping that when they face the San Francisco Giants Friday night for their first home game in 12 days, star outfielder Mookie Betts will be able to return to full-time duty.
As the Dodgers were concluding their three-city trip with three games at San Diego this week,Betts was used as a late-inning defensive replacement twice. He has not taken an at-bat since Sunday at Arizona because of a sore left middle finger.
Betts actually injured the finger early in Sunday's game against the Diamondbacks but remained in the contest and later hit a home run.
The Dodgers' won two of three against the Padres this week without Betts, who had a .289 batting average, two home runs and six RBIs over his first 10 games in Los Angeles. The Dodgers also won series at Arizona and Houston, finishing 7-2 on the trip.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts gave the team's travels a "solid A" grade.
"A lot of expectations, noise going into Houston, a team that's played us tough like Arizona in their place, to win three of four there, then a team that's on the come in San Diego and they gave us all we could handle," Roberts said.
While the Dodgers are leaving the road, the Giants will be making their second stop on a season-long 10-game trip through three cities after losing three of four games at Colorado this week.
The Giants are going to have to pick up the pace in order to match the Dodgers' road success. They dropped the first two games at Colorado this week, won 4-3 on Wednesday and then lost the series finale 6-4 on Thursday.
It will be San Francisco's second visit already to Los Angeles. In fact, the Dodgers and Giants are playing the first seven games at Dodger Stadium this season after the teams split the opening four-game set late last month before the Dodgers hit the road.
The Giants let a late lead get away Thursday when the Rockies scored five times in the seventh inning. Right-hander Rico Garcia gave up a two-run home run to pinch hitter Daniel Murphy, while left-hander Caleb Baragar gave up a two-run shot to Charlie Blackmon.
It was a tough opening leg to a trip that still has challenging stops at Los Angeles and Houston remaining.
"I think it's just, take the step right in front of you," Giants manager Gabe Kapler told reporters after Thursday's game. "We understand that there's no architectural blueprint for this season, and we're just going to fight (Friday). Be ready and prepared to play the Dodgers in Los Angeles."
Right-hander Jeff Samardzija (0-1, 9.31 ERA) will start for the Giants in the series opener. He did not face the Dodgers in the earlier trip to L.A. Samardzija is 2-5 lifetime against the Dodgers in 11 outings (nine starts) with a 3.83 ERA.
Left-hander Julio Urias (1-0, 2.45 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Dodgers. He made his first start of the season July 26 against San Francisco, giving up one run on five hits over five innings in a no-decision. He is 0-2 lifetime against the Giants, but he does have a 1.40 ERA against them over 13 appearances (seven starts).
--Field Level Media