Penny, first baseman Hee-Seop Choi and minor league pitching prospect Bill Murphy were all acquired from Florida last July 30 in exchange for popular catcher Paul Lo Duca, outfielder Juan Encarnacion and reliever Guillermo Mota. Penny was able to make only three starts for the Dodgers last season due to a strained right biceps suffered against Philadelphia on Aug. 8.
This is the right-hander’s first outing since he was tagged for season highs of six runs and 12 hits over 4 2-3 innings in a 9-3 loss at St. Louis last Wednesday. Penny was 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA over his first three starts of the season.
The series will mark another Lo Duca’s second trip back to Dodger Stadium. He received a lengthy standing ovation before his first at-bat when he came back with Florida last season in the Marlins’ 4-2 win on Aug. 16.
“It was unbelievable,” Lo Duca said. “You don’t realize it until you get to home plate. I couldn’t step in the box. I had to step out again. It was something I’ll never forget. It was pretty awesome.”
Choi is hitting .435 (20-for-46) with 14 RBIs over the last 17 games, demonstrating the consistent stroke that the Dodgers were looking for when they acquired him. Choi went 1-for-6 in two games against the Marlins last season.
Florida is on its longest losing streak of the season after being swept in a weekend three-game series at San Diego. The Marlins batted .220 and scored a total of seven runs in the three games.
Slumping third baseman Mike Lowell was benched in Sunday’s 12-4 loss as Florida manager Jack McKeon moved Miguel Cabrera into the infield and used Jeff Conine in Cabrera’s spot in left field. Lowell is mired in a 1-for-23 skid over his last seven games.
“What’s the tonic?” McKeon said. “You give him a few days? Or a week? I don’t know. It’s tough seeing Mike struggling. You hope he keeps the faith, and his confidence, which I think he will.”
The Dodgers fell for the fourth time in five games with a 5-2 loss to Atlanta on Sunday. Los Angeles struck out nine times and stranded 10 runners in the defeat.
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