A day after Dreifort struck out 12 in a 4-3 win over the Colorado Rockies, Perez will try to help the Dodgers extend their winning streak to a season-high eight games as they take on the Milwaukee Brewers in the opener of a three-game set.
If Perez can duplicate the effort he turned in on Saturday, the Dodgers should have no problem. He allowed just three hits and struck out eight in Los Angeles’ 4-1 win over the Florida Marlins.
“He’s becoming a complete pitcher,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. “I mean, I’ve seen Odalis much sharper early in the count, but tonight he pitched to the deficiencies of the opposition extremely well.”
The Dodgers have been taking advantage of the opposition’s deficiencies extremely well of late. Thursday’s win over the Rockies, which completed a three-game sweep, pulled them within 2 1/2 games of the first-place San Francisco Giants in the NL West.
The Brewers have also been playing well of late, winning five of their last six.
He grounded out and struck out in his final two at-bats, failing in his attempt to become the 15th player in major league history to homer four times in a game.
“It wasn’t really my swing. It was pitch selection,” he said. “It’s just one of those days when I saw the ball good.”
The last player to hit four homers in a game was the Dodgers’ Shawn Green, who did it in a 16-3 rout of the Brewers exactly one year ago—May 23, 2002. Green also set a major league record with 19 total bases in that game.
STANDINGS: Dodgers - 2nd place, 2 1/2 GB, NL West. Brewers - 6th place, 8 1/2 GB, NL Central.
DODGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Perez (3-2, 2.93 ERA). Perez won his only previous start against the Brewers, giving up two runs in seven innings.
BREWERS PROBABLE STARTER: Glendon Rusch (1-7, 7.26 ERA). Rusch will hope to fare much better than he did at this time last year, when he lasted just 1 2-3 innings in the Dodgers’ 16-3 rout. He gave up eight runs and nine hits in that contest. Rusch has also struggled this season. On Saturday, he did not earn a decision after allowing four runs and eight hits over 5 2-3 innings in the Brewers’ 8-6 win over the Cincinnati Reds. Rusch is 0-3 with a 16.20 ERA in three career games against Los Angeles.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Dodgers - Paul Lo Duca, .307 avg.; Fred McGriff, 6 HRs; McGriff and Green, 22 RBIs; Green, 22 runs; Dave Roberts, 18 SBs. Brewers - Alex Sanchez, .284 avg.; Richie Sexson, 15 HRs and 38 runs; Sexson and Jenkins, 34 RBIs; Eric Young, 13 SBs.
2002 SEASON SERIES: Dodgers, 5-1.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Dodgers - CF Brian Jordan is batting .356 (16-for-45) with runners in scoring position this season. … RHP Paul Shuey pitched a scoreless seventh inning Thursday, extending his scoreless streak to 14 innings over 10 games. … 1B McGriff is batting .375 (6-for-16) with six RBIs in his career against LHP Rusch. Brewers - 2B Young is 2-for-9 (.222) in his career against LHP Perez. … The Brewers have been successful in their last 11 steal attempts. … Milwaukee’s just-completed sweep of San Diego was its first sweep at home in its last 16 series.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Dodgers - 11-11 on the road; Brewers - 10-16 at home.
INJURIES: Dodgers - C Todd Hundley (back), 15-day DL; OF Dave Roberts (hamstring), 15-day DL; LHP Troy Brohawn (rotator cuff), 15-day DL; LHP Derek Thompson (elbow), 60-day DL. Brewers - OF Jeffrey Hammonds (ankle), 15-day DL; LHP Valerio de los Santos (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Jayson Durocher (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Nick Neugebauer (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Todd Ritchie (shoulder), 15-day DL.