video thumbnail

LAD@ATL: Hernandez allows one run over six innings

In Tuesday's series opener with the D-backs at Chase Field, Roberto Hernandez will make only his fourth start for the Dodgers after being traded from the Phillies on Aug. 7.

His first three outings with Los Angels have been a mixed bag. After picking up two quality starts to begin his Dodgers career, Hernandez gave up four runs (three earned) against the Padres on Aug. 20.

"I think both [Kevin Correia] and Roberto both have been really key for us because it's been a tough little stretch here with [injuries to] Zack [Greinke] and Hyun-Jin [Ryu]," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "And to be able to have two guys who have experience being in the big leagues and who aren't really overwhelmed by the situation, it's been nice for us."

Trevor Cahill is the D-backs pitcher lined up for the first of two games against the first-place Dodgers, who maintained a 4 1/2-game lead over the Giants in the National League West after both teams lost on Sunday.

Cahill has had a resurgence since returning from the Minor Leagues, where he spent six weeks after struggling in the first half.

"I think before I just didn't feel like I could throw any of my pitches for strikes, and I feel like my stuff wasn't there either," Cahill said. "That's kind of a recipe for disaster."

In four August starts, Cahill is 2-0 with a 2.33 ERA. He hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in a start since July 29.

"I've been able to throw offspeed pitches for strikes," Cahill said. "I think my sinker command isn't where I want it to be at, but if I fall behind, I feel like I can go to three different pitches, which helps out a lot."

D-backs: Hill going to get shot at third base
The D-backs have a plethora of middle infielders, and in order to get them in the lineup, manager Kirk Gibson is planning to shift veteran second baseman Aaron Hill to third base occasionally in the near future.

"I want to have flexibility, as always," Gibson said. "That's what we're thinking about doing. … You're going to see guys moving all around because when rosters expand … we'll have a lot of guys."

Hill has played only 35 career games at third base -- all as a rookie with the Blue Jays in 2005.

"This is what we got. We got all these middle infielders, young guys," Hill said. "It's just the way it is when you're trying to see what we're going to do next year."

The issue lies with two young shortstops in particular. Chris Owings was the starter for most of the first half of the season before suffering a left shoulder injury. In his place stepped Didi Gregorius, who was the starting shortstop in 2013.

Owings is currently with Triple-A Reno on a rehab assignment and will likely return around the time rosters expand on Sept. 1.

With Gregorius showing a hot glove and Owings providing solid offense for a rookie infielder, Gibson wants to keep them both in the lineup. That means playing Owings at second base on occasion.

"We didn't have the season that we were expecting, so at this point, it's just the way it goes," Hill said.

Dodgers: Ramirez reinstated, back at short
As planned, the Dodgers reinstated shortstop Hanley Ramirez from the disabled list on Sunday and inserted him into the starting lineup after he missed 14 games with a right oblique strain.

"It's going to be good to have him back in there, obviously," Mattingly said. "It changes the lineup from the standpoint of the length of it and the number of guys you have to go through just to navigate it."

To make room for Ramirez on the 25-man roster, the Dodgers optioned infielder Erisbel Arruebarrena to Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga, but Mattingly said Arruebarrena will rejoin the team when rosters expand on Sept. 1.

Mattingly said there were no restrictions on Ramirez going forward, even though the shortstop has dealt with a multitude of injuries this season.

"We're not going to try to be that cautious," Mattingly said. "We're just going to play him. Obviously, we're not going to run him into the ground. If there's something going on or he's not feeling good, we'll give him a break."

Worth noting
• Mattingly said Greinke (right elbow) came out of Saturday's start against the Mets "pretty well." Greinke threw seven innings in a 7-4 Dodgers win. Comments