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News » Dodgers-Diamondbacks Preview 2009-04-11

Dodgers-Diamondbacks Preview 2009-04-11

Dodgers-Diamondbacks Preview 2009-04-11
With the season less than a week old, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers are already missing their opening day starting pitchers.

The NL West rivals try to adjust Saturday night at Chase Field, where the Diamondbacks will send Yusmeiro Petit to the mound to face Dodgers left-hander Eric Stults.

Petit (3-5, 4.31 ERA) makes his 2009 debut after Wednesday's announcement that Arizona ace Brandon Webb will miss a start with right shoulder stiffness that bothered him during Monday's 9-8 win over Colorado.

"For a guy like (Webb), this isn't something you can mess around with," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said of last season's NL wins leader. "I'd hate for him this early in the season to go out there and pitch with some soreness already, or some stiffness."

While Petit's career win total (7) pales in comparison to Webb's (87), the 24-year-old right-hander takes the ball following a solid spring when he won a spot as a long reliever.

Petit appeared in 19 games last season for the Diamondbacks, including eight spot starts.

He made three relief appearances against Los Angeles in 2008 before starting at Dodger Stadium on Aug. 2, when he allowed three runs and five hits over five innings of a 4-2 loss.

The Dodgers, meanwhile, placed opening day starter Hiroki Kuroda (1-0, 1.59 ERA) on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a strained muscle in his left side. Kuroda allowed one run and four hits over 5 2-3 innings in Monday's 4-1 win over San Diego.

"I sat and talked to him twice today," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said of Kuroda, whose MRI in Los Angeles revealed no structural damage. "I didn't want him to necessarily feel good about it but just understand the decision was basically made as a safety factor. I understand the fact that losing him for a couple of starts or whatever it is is better than something never going away."

The Dodgers (2-3) called up Stults from Triple-A Albuquerque to make his first start since a 7-5 loss to the Padres on Sept. 25, when he allowed three runs in 4 2-3 innings.

The 29-year-old left-hander (2-3, 3.49 ERA) makes his second career appearance, and first start, against the Diamondbacks. He gave up three hits and three runs in one-third of an inning of relief in a 12-3 loss to Arizona on Sept. 21, 2007.

Los Angeles seeks to avoid a third straight defeat after dropping Friday's series opener 9-4.

Coming off an 0-for-3 effort in Thursday's 4-3 loss to San Diego, Manny Ramirez had two hits in three at-bats and knocked in a run to move within three of tying Honus Wagner for 19th all-time with 1,732 RBIs.

Arizona center fielder Chris Young hit his first home run of the season and matched a career high with three hits in Friday's win after opening the season with one hit in 12 at-bats.

The Diamondbacks (2-2) snapped a five-game losing streak to the Dodgers.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 11, 2009

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