Los Angeles (12-13) at Arizona (12-13)

Clear Currently: Phoenix, AZ, US
Temp: 96° F
  • Game info: 9:40 pm EDT Mon May 1, 2006
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brad Penny looks to continue his dominance over the Arizona Diamondbacks when the teams open a two-game set on Monday at Chase Field.

In eight career starts against Arizona, Penny is 4-0 with a 1.25 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 50 1-3 innings. The opposition is hitting just .219 against him this season, the lowest allowed by a Dodgers starter.

Penny (2-0, 2.32 ERA) started the season with wins over Atlanta and Philadelphia, but has not recorded a decision since despite pitching well. In three starts, the right-hander has allowed six runs and 16 hits over 19 innings but Los Angeles (12-13) has scored just seven runs in those contests.

Arizona (12-13) will send Claudio Vargas (2-1, 5.21) to the mound as he looks for his first home win since Aug. 28. In five starts since then, the right-hander is 0-3 with an 8.63 ERA and has been tagged for 23 runs, 38 hits and 17 walks in 24 innings.

Vargas may hope coming off his best road outing of the season will translate into success at home. He scattered four hits and walked four over seven innings Tuesday in a 7-0 win over San Diego.

“I felt pretty good out there,” Vargas said. “I had my fastball and changeup. I’ve been working a lot in the bullpen, and that helped my confidence.”

One player who enjoys facing Vargas is Dodgers outfielder J.D. Drew, the team’s leading hitter with a .306 average. Drew is hitting .417 (5-for-12) with two homers in his career against him.

The Dodgers will try to come back from their most disappointing game of the season. Leading San Diego 5-0 going into the bottom of the ninth, the bullpen allowed the Padres to score five runs to tie the game.

Tim Hamulack then gave up an RBI single in the 10th inning to Mark Bellhorn in a 6-5 loss.

The Diamondbacks return home after going 5-4 on a nine-game road trip including an 8-2 win Sunday over San Francisco. Brandon Webb allowed five hits over eight innings en route to winning his fourth straight stars and catcher Johnny Estrada went 4-for-4 with a two-run homer and four RBIs

Third baseman Chad Tracy added a hit and two RBIs in the win. Now playing third in place of the since-traded Troy Glaus, Tracy is hitting .400 (16-for-40) in 10 home games this season and has only been held hitless in one of them.

He looks to continue his good run at home, as he has gone 20-for-55 with four homers and 10 RBIs in the last 13 meetings with Los Angeles. Tracy also has yet to make an error.

“All year, he’s done a nice job,” Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said. “My experiences with him were he was a natural third baseman; that’s what he’s always played. I think starting day one of Spring Training we saw a guy who’s very comfortable at third base.”

Arizona has won nine of its last 11 from Los Angeles.

Related Articles

Starting Pitchers

B. Penny TOR vs. C. Vargas TOR
16-9 Record 12-10
4.33 ERA 4.83
148 K 123
54 BB 52
1.38 WHIP 1.41