Unfortunately, the Dodgers — who were the hottest team in MLB — have suffered four consecutive defeats as well, giving them their longest losing streak in four months and keeping them two games back of the Braves in the race for home-field advantage.
In an attempt to get back on track, Los Angeles will turn to starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco, who is 7-1 with a 2.27 ERA since being acquired from the Miami Marlins in July, including a 6-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks in his first start for the Dodgers on July 9.
Nolasco tossed seven innings of one-run, four-hit ball in that game, striking out five and issuing no walks. The 30-year-old right-hander has a great chance to provide the Dodgers with another quality start when L.A. begins a three-game series with the scuffling D-Backs on Monday in Los Angeles.
Despite winning four of their last six games and splitting a four-game road series with the San Francisco Giants over the weekend, Arizona hasn’t scored more than four runs in a game since a 10-9, 10-inning victory over the San Diego Padres on Aug. 27. And the fact that the club is banged up doesn’t help matters.
Diamondbacks shortstop Cliff Pennington won’t play after returning home to be with his wife, who will undergo induced labor on Monday, while third baseman Martin Prado, who had been one of the team’s hottest hitters, is questionable after missing the past two games — save for a pinch-hit appearance in Sunday’s 3-2, 11-inning loss to the Giants — with an illness.
Against the streaking Nolasco, it may not matter who’s in the lineup.