Houlton looks to turn in another solid outing as the Dodgers wrap up a three-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium.
Houlton allowed four runs and five hits in seven innings of Monday’s 5-4 win over the San Diego Padres. The 25-year-old right-hander is 4-1 since moving to the rotation for his first major league start on June 4.
Houlton is the only Los Angeles starter with a winning record on a staff that includes Derek Lowe, Brad Penny and Jeff Weaver. Houlton, who made 87 minor league starts, made 13 relief appearances before taking the mound for his first start.
“I’m just happy to be pitching here,” said Houlton, who allowed all four runs Monday in the first two innings. “This was a great opportunity, and I just wanted to get after it and show them I could start up here. It’s been working out pretty good and it’s given me a lot of confidence.”
The Dodgers lost 7-5 to the Diamondbacks on Saturday, dropping their 13th game of the last 18. J.D. Drew hit two homers and drove in three runs for Los Angeles.
Lowe gave up five earned runs and a career-high four homers in three innings, becoming just the second Los Angeles starter to pitch less than five innings in 32 games.
Chad Tracy, Jose Cruz Jr. and Alex Cintron, three of the first seven Arizona batters, hit home runs, and Shawn Green added another leading off the third. Cruz and Cintron connected on the first two pitches of the second for the Diamondbacks, who had their four-game winning streak snapped.
“Fortunately, where he hit that ball, there were three or four open seats,” Gonzalez said. “It was pretty crowded out there early in the game. I got very lucky the fans at Dodger Stadium leave early. They’re usually hooting and hollering at me.”