When the second half starts next week, the Los Angeles Dodgers hope their two best offensive players are ready to make an impact.
Left-hander Chris Capuano has been doing that all season for Los Angeles.
Capuano gets his second crack at win No. 10 on Sunday when the NL West-leading Dodgers finish their series against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.
Center fielder Matt Kemp has been sidelined since late May with a strained left hamstring and right fielder Andre Ethier was placed on the disabled list Wednesday - retroactive to June 28 - with a strained left oblique, but both are working their way back to the Dodgers' lineup.
Kemp, who is supposed to participate in Monday's home run derby in Kansas City prior to Tuesday's All-Star game, is playing at Triple-A Albuquerque this weekend and might be in the lineup Friday against San Diego.
Ethier is scheduled to play at Single-A Rancho Cucamonga on Wednesday and Thursday.
Their return could provide a major lift to an injury-riddled team that's averaging 2.2 runs while losing 14 of 19.
Los Angeles (47-39) won for the fourth time in five games with Thursday's 4-1 series-opening victory, but has lost the last two by 5-3 margins after leading 2-0 in each game.
Needing a win or a San Francisco loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday to head into the break atop the West, the Dodgers are looking for another strong performance from Capuano (9-3, 2.62 ERA), who has plenty of motivation in this start.
Despite ranking among the NL's best in ERA, the left-hander will not represent the Dodgers in the Midsummer Classic.
"(NL manager) Tony (La Russa) had a tough decision and there's no one I would take off his staff and say I should be there instead of him," Capuano told the Dodgers' official website after throwing six innings of one-run ball in Tuesday's 3-1 victory over Cincinnati. "I don't feel I was wronged at all."
Capuano has faced the Diamondbacks once this season, a 6-1 road win May 21 when he struck out five and allowed one run in six innings.
The Dodgers will get their first look at rookie Trevor Bauer (0-1, 9.82).
The 21-year-old right-hander made a meteoric rise through the minors after being the third overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft, but he's had a rocky start to his big league career, walking seven and giving up eight earned runs in 7 1-3 innings.
In his home debut, Bauer was booed off the mound Tuesday after yielding seven runs in 3 1-3 innings of a 9-5 loss to San Diego."There has been a lot built up about him," manager Kirk Gibson said of the former UCLA star. "It hasn't went well for him. It is part of being in the big leagues. We wish things were different."
If they aren't Sunday, the Diamondbacks' bullpen is well-rested following Trevor Cahill 's strong effort Saturday."It was big for him to get through seven innings for us," Gibson said. "Just bullpen-wise, we don't want to use everybody. Seven innings just makes (Sunday's) game much better as well."
The Diamondbacks (41-43) are going for their first three-game winning streak since a four-game run June 20-24.
The Dodgers have lost 10 of 12 on the road.
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|July 05, 2012||Dee Gordon||15-Day DL||Right thumb UCL tear|
|July 04, 2012||Dee Gordon||Day-to-Day||Left game - Dislocated right thumb|
|July 03, 2012||Todd Coffey||15-Day DL||Right elbow soreness|
|June 28, 2012||Andre Ethier||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|June 27, 2012||Andre Ethier||Day-to-Day||Left game -left oblique strain|
|June 03, 2012||Javy Guerra||15-Day DL||Right knee inflammation|
|July 02, 2012||John McDonald||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|June 26, 2012||Daniel Hudson||15-Day DL||Right foream tightness|
|June 17, 2012||Joe Saunders||15-Day DL||Strained left shoulder|
|May 23, 2012||Miguel Montero||Day-to-Day||Groin injury|
|April 19, 2012||Daniel Hudson||15-Day DL||Right shoulder impingement|
|April 19, 2012||Daniel Hudson||15-Day DL||Right shoulder impingement|
PHOENIX (AP) -- Most rookies would be excited about recording their first career win after a pair of mediocre outings to start their major league career.
Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Trevor Bauer clearly isn't like most rookies.
Bauer scattered two hits over six scoreless innings and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-1 on Sunday.
"It wasn't really relief because I wasn't anxious or anything like that to begin with," said Bauer (1-1), who struck out six and walked one. "I was throwing strikes today, making them hit the ball instead of being behind in the count."
Paul Goldschmidt homered, doubled and drove in a career-high four runs and Justin Upton was a homer short of the cycle for the Diamondbacks, who won the final three games of the four-game set to move within four games of the NL West-leading Dodgers.
"It gives us good momentum and a good feeling about ourselves going into the second half," said Arizona manager Kirk Gibson .
Bauer, who was picked third in the 2011 draft, said Sunday was the first time since his call-up June 28 he wasn't limited by a groin cramp that has appeared intermittently this season.
"I felt completely healthy and could rotate my hip," Bauer said. "That allows me to just focus on executing my pitches instead of trying to find my release point like I have been my first couple of outings."
Unlike his first two starts, in which he allowed eight earned runs on 11 hits in only 7 1/3 innings, Bauer rarely was pressured by the Dodgers.
Juan Rivera led off the second inning with a double to left and Dodgers starter Chris Capuano doubled to right to lead off the third but were stranded in scoring position.
While Bauer didn't meet with catcher Miguel Montero before his first two starts, the two have been getting more on the same page.
"Once he puts down a sign, he knows how I like to pitch and he's using his knowledge of the hitters to fit to my game plan," said Bauer, who retired the final 12 batters he faced.
Gibson said there had been a concerted effort to get pitcher and catcher together over the past few days.
"We just sat down and kind of analyzed his first couple starts," Gibson said. "We wanted to understand his strengths and we wanted him to understand a few things in certain situations. He didn't shake off too much today. Miggy understand what he wanted to do in certain situations and Trevor trusted him."
Bauer retired Tony Gwynn Jr. on a fly ball to left after an 11-pitch at bat for the first out of the third and cruised from there, retiring the next 11 batters he faced on a total of 47 pitches.
"It's the first time we've seen him," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly . "I think we'll have a better feel for him the next time we see him."
Patrick Corbin pitched the final three innings for his first career save.
Capuano (9-4) allowed a season-high five runs on nine hits over five innings for the Dodgers, who remained a half-game ahead of the San Francisco Giants heading into the All Star break. Los Angeles had not led the division at the break since 2009.
Capuano struck out five and walked one.
Upton tripled home Willie Bloomquist in the first and scored on a ground-rule double by Goldschmidt to give the Diamondbacks an early 2-0 lead - the first two runs Arizona had scored in any of Bauer's first three starts.
Goldschmidt made it 5-0 in the fifth with his 12th home run, a line drive a half-dozen rows deep into the left-field stands.
"I didn't want him to beat me but got a little sloppy and made a not-so-great pitch to him," Capuano said. "He's been swinging a hot bat. He's been really covering the ball, not only on the plate but also off the plate."
Montero hit a bases-loaded, two-run single in the seventh to extend Arizona's lead to 7-0.
Juan Uribe hit a pinch-hit sacrifice fly in the ninth for the Dodgers.
NOTES: Arizona has won four of its past five against Los Angeles. . Upton has hit two triples in his past three games. ... Capuano fell to 2-5 in eight career starts and nine appearances overall against Arizona. ... The Diamondbacks are 13-5 in their past 18 homes games. . Dodgers 1B James Loney , whose modest six-game hitting streak was snapped on Saturday, was given his sixth day off of the season Sunday. ... Diamondbacks 2B Aaron Hill singled and scored in the seventh and has hit safely in 22 of his past 23 home games.