It never rains in California, or so it is said, which means that Tuesday’s doubleheader between the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers is a rarity for Dodger Stadium.
It will be the ballpark’s first “scheduled” doubleheader since Sept. 17, 1987, when the Dodgers opposed the Cincinnati Reds. That one came about so the Dodgers could leave an open date on Sept. 16 for a visit from Pope John Paul II.
The last makeup-game doubleheader at Dodger Stadium was on July 22, 1999, against the Colorado Rockies, but two games in one day at the third-oldest major league ballpark in baseball is rare as a wide-open 405 freeway.
Injuries to Dodgers left-handers Andrew Heaney (shoulder) and Clayton Kershaw (back) have left the club scrambling with its rotation. Los Angeles gave right-hander Michael Grove his first major league start Saturday and didn’t confirm its doubleheader starters until after beating the Diamondbacks 5-4 on Monday.
Expected to start Game 1 is right-hander Ryan Pepiot (0-0, 0.00 ERA), who made his own major league debut at Pittsburgh on Wednesday and pitched three scoreless innings despite allowing five walks.
Dodgers left-hander Tyler Anderson (3-0, 4.40 ERA) is expected to start Game 2. In 14 career appearances (12 starts) against the Diamondbacks, Anderson is 3-3 with a 5.96 ERA.
The Diamondbacks are expected to start left-hander Tyler Gilbert (0-1, 3.91 ERA) in the first game and have right-hander Merrill Kelly (3-1, 1.71) take the second game.
Gilbert, who has made just 11 career appearances, pitched in his only two major league games of the season in April. One of them was a three-inning relief appearance against the Dodgers on April 25, when he gave up one run on two hits.
Kelly is 0-5 with a 4.57 ERA in eight lifetime starts against Los Angeles. He lost to the Dodgers in the April 25 game, when Gilbert took over for him after Kelly gave up three runs in six innings.
In the opener of the four-game series on Monday, the Diamondbacks scored the first two runs, one on a home run from Christian Walker, before the Dodgers rallied for five consecutive runs, two on a homer from Chris Taylor.
Arizona made it close on a two-run home run in the ninth inning from David Peralta before Dodgers closer Craig Kimbrel finished off his sixth save in six chances.
The Diamondbacks were without shortstop Nick Ahmed, who was placed on the injured list for undisclosed reasons. He missed two weeks at the start of the season due to shoulder soreness.
“His shoulder is feeling fine,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said, according to the Arizona Republic. “He has been managing (the shoulder) and he’s been doing a really good job of being open and honest with me and the medical team and letting us know when he needs a little bit of a break. Those things are hard to manage.”
The Dodgers also won the opener during an April series at Arizona, but the Diamondbacks came back to win the final two games of the set.
“Just getting that first win of the series (is big),” Taylor said on the SportsNet L.A. broadcast. “They have been playing really good baseball. Obviously, they beat us at their place when they took two of three. To get the first one and to get the momentum on our side was big.”
–Field Level Media