The problems keep mounting for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
A day after learning that closer Eric Gagne is done for the season, the Dodgers will try to end their season-high eight-game losing streak as they continue their four-game set with the San Diego Padres.
Gagne, the 2003 NL Cy Young Award winner, had a second MRI exam Tuesday and doctors concluded he needs Tommy John surgery. The All-Star reliever has a second-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament and was recently placed on the 15-day disabled list. His operation was scheduled for Friday.
“We’re probably looking at about a year, maybe by the All-Star break next year he’ll be back,” manager Jim Tracy said.
Gagne, who owns the major league record of 84 consecutive saves, landed on the disabled list for the first time in his seven-year major league career on April 1 when he hurt his elbow, possibly while compensating for a knee injury sustained during spring training. It was the same elbow that underwent ligament replacement surgery in 1997.
Gagne returned to action May 14 but aggravated the injury while pitching against Minnesota on June 12.
“It is a partial tear of the ligament, not a complete tear,” Tracy said. “The surgery is not a complicated surgery. The damage is not significant to make the surgery overwhelming.”
With Gagne out for the rest of the season, the closer role falls to Yhency Brazoban, who has converted 11 of 14 save chances in Gagne’s absence.
On Tuesday, the Dodgers were shut down by San Diego’s Woody Williams, who threw 6 2-3 solid innings to lead the first-place Padres to a 2-1 win.
Los Angeles has scored just 16 runs in the losing streak and has been shut out twice in the last five games.
Williams allowed one run and five hits with four strikeouts and one walk for his first win since April 25 against San Francisco. The right-hander, who was on the disabled list for nearly one month with a strained left oblique, had lost his last four starts, including his first two since coming off the disabled list on June 5.
The Padres have won four straight games since snapping their season-high five-game losing streak.