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News » Diamondbacks-Dodgers Preview 2009-05-05


Diamondbacks-Dodgers Preview 2009-05-05


Diamondbacks-Dodgers Preview 2009-05-05
While teams generally have an advantage on their home field, the Los Angeles Dodgers are on the verge of matching a modern major league record for early home dominance.

On Tuesday, the Dodgers look to improve to 12-0 at home and tie the longest undefeated home start in nearly 100 years when they take on the Arizona Diamondbacks - losers of six straight at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles (19-8) beat Arizona 7-2 on Monday night, becoming the first NL team since the start of the 20th century to win its first 11 home games. The previous record was set by the 1918 New York Giants and equaled by the 1970 Chicago Cubs and 1983 Atlanta Braves - who were managed by current Dodgers skipper Joe Torre.

The Dodgers are now looking to match the major league mark of 12 straight home victories to open a season, set in 1911 by the Detroit Tigers.

"It's sweet. We just have to keep adding on now," catcher Russell Martin said.

Torre, whose team has the top record in the majors with its best start since Tommy Lasorda's 1983 club opened 20-7, doesn't want his players taking their early success for granted.

"Streaks are fine, but each game takes on a life of its own for me," he said. "I mean, you constantly remind the players that they really haven't done anything - and don't think that because you've won every game at home, it's going to automatically be willed to you."

Los Angeles has outscored opponents 75-28 at Dodger Stadium, where it's batting .332 with 15 homers. The Dodgers have a 2.52 ERA at home and have held opponents to a .190 batting average there.

Those figures don't bode well for an Arizona club that's dropped 10 of 12 against Los Angeles and six in a row at Dodger Stadium. The Diamondbacks (11-15) have totaled five runs and 15 hits in their last three games versus the Dodgers - all losses.

Arizona pulled off the second triple play in franchise history Monday but trailed throughout after giving up back-to-back homers to Ramirez and Andre Ethier in the first inning - the sixth of the year for both players. Ramirez's 533rd home run pulled him within one of Jimmie Foxx for 16th place on the career list and three behind Mickey Mantle.

Ramirez, batting .360 with a .500 on-base percentage, looks to continue his hot start behind Jeff Weaver, who'll make his first start since the end of the 2007 season Tuesday. The right-hander went 7-13 with a 6.20 ERA in 27 outings with Seattle that year before spending 2008 in the minors.

Weaver, a two-time opening day starter with Detroit, pitched four scoreless innings of relief against San Diego in his season debut Thursday.

"The adrenaline was pumping and it was nice to get my feet wet again," he said. "Once I got the first hitter out of the way, I felt good."

Weaver is 2-2 with a 3.71 ERA in eight starts against Arizona, which he hasn't faced since 2006.

Max Scherzer (0-2, 3.48) will start for the Diamondbacks as he goes for his first career win. The right-hander, who made his major league debut last April, is 0-6 with a 3.17 ERA in 20 career games - 11 starts. He struck out a season-high seven in six shutout innings against Milwaukee on Thursday, but didn't get much help from Arizona's lineup or bullpen in the team's 4-1 defeat.

Scherzer is 0-0 and a 3.38 ERA in three games versus the Dodgers. He made his only previous start against them Sept. 7 at Dodger Stadium, giving up three runs and striking out 11 in five innings of a 5-3 loss.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 5, 2009

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