Having been hit with a blow to their pitching staff, the Los Angeles Dodgers will try to regroup in time to play the middle game of their weekend interleague series with the visiting Chicago White Sox.
The Dodgers’ 2-1 win on Friday night was bittersweet, as they learned pitcher Darren Dreifort will undergo season-ending surgery on his right knee.
Dreifort, 31, has a weak medial collateral ligament and the surgery, which will take place either June 17 or 18, requires a six-month recovery period.
Dreifort is no stranger to serious injury, as had “Tommy John” ligament-replacement surgery on his right elbow in July 2001 and didn’t pitch again until this season.
His absence means veteran Andy Ashby will make the start on Saturday.
“I’ll just have to go, see what I got, do what I can do,” said the 35-year-old Ashby, who is in the final year of a three-year contract.
Ashby seemed much more concerned about Dreifort than pleased about getting an opportunity to start, something he’s done most of his career. He started 30 games last season, going 9-13 with a 3.91 ERA.
“It’s a shame, hopefully he’ll be all right,” Ashby said. “It doesn’t seem right.”
The White Sox, who have won just five of their last 15 games, will look for inspiration from ace Bartolo Colon. The hard-throwing right-hander is coming off a 5-2 loss to his former team, the Cleveland Indians, on Monday.
Colon, who leads the White Sox in innings with 83 1-3 and complete games (four), has dropped his last two starts following a three-start winning streak. Colon should give the White Sox a chance to win as has pitched at least six innings and allowed three earned runs or fewer in eight of his 12 starts.
STANDINGS: White Sox - 3rd place, 7 1/2 GB, AL Central. Dodgers - 2nd place, 3 GB, NL West.
WHITE SOX PROBABLE STARTER: Bartolo Colon (5-5, 3.96 ERA). Colon, who pitched for Cleveland from 1997 until last June before being traded to Montreal, allowed four runs and seven hits over six innings, while striking out six. He’s 0-1 with a 2.57 ERA in one career start against Los Angeles.
DODGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Ashby (0-3, 6.59 ERA). He’s made eight appearances out of the bullpen this season, and is facing the White Sox for the first time in his career.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: White Sox - D’Angelo Jimenez, .289 avg.; Frank Thomas, 11 HRs; Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Lee, 34 RBIs; Lee, 29 runs and 6 SBs. Dodgers - Paul Lo Duca, .337 avg.; Fred McGriff, 10 HRs and 33 RBIs; Shawn Green, 29 runs; Dave Roberts, 18 SBs.
INTERLEAGUE RECORDS: White Sox - 1-3; Dodgers - 3-1.
STREAKS AND NOTES: White Sox - 3B Joe Crede snapped out of an 0-for-22 slide that included nine strikeouts with two singles on Friday. … Friday marked the White Sox’s first game at Dodger Stadium since 1965, when the then-Los Angeles Angels played their fourth and final season there before moving to Anaheim. … 1B/DH Thomas has started eight of the last nine games at 1B after not playing in the field since June 21, 2002. Dodgers - C Lo Duca has a career-high 15-game hitting streak. … RHP Dreifort was 4-4 with a 4.03 ERA in 10 starts, recording 67 strikeouts over 60 1-3 innings. … RHP Eric Gagne, the fifth Dodgers pitcher on Friday, got three straight outs for his 29th consecutive save and 21st this season, finishing the four-hitter.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: White Sox - 10-22 on the road; Dodgers - 20-12 at home.
INJURIES: White Sox - INF Willie Harris (shoulder), 15-day DL. Dodgers - RHP Dreifort (knee), 15-day DL; C Todd Hundley (sciatic nerve), 15-day DL; OF Daryle Ward (wrist), 15-day DL; LHP Troy Brohawn (rotator cuff), 15-day DL; LHP Derek Thompson (elbow), 60-day DL.