Runs could be at a premium Friday night when Davis and the NL West-leading Diamondbacks face Penny in the opener of a three-game set at Dodger Stadium.
Davis (13-11, 4.09 ERA) is 3-1 in four career starts against the Dodgers, conceding just one unearned run and 16 hits over 30 innings. He has faced Los Angeles (77-69) twice this year, getting outpitched by Mark Hendrickson in a 2-1 loss on May 2, before returning to Dodger Stadium on Aug. 3 and pitching eight stellar innings in a 1-0 victory.
Penny (15-4, 2.81) will become the third different Los Angeles starter to oppose Davis this year. He’s 2-1 with a 1.61 ERA in four starts against the Diamondbacks (83-64) this year, and 7-3 with a 1.96 ERA in 15 career outings.
Davis will try to add to his career-high win total and continue his surge since the All-Star break. He’s 8-1 with a 3.84 ERA in his last 12 outings, although he lasted just four innings and gave up four runs on Sunday in a 6-5 win over St. Louis.
“He’s always a good guy to run out there, especially the way he’s been pitching,” Arizona manager Bob Melvin told the team’s official Web site.
Los Angeles is hoping Penny can pitch as well as he did Sunday in San Francisco. Penny allowed two runs and eight hits over seven innings, but the bullpen blew what would have been a career high-tying 16th victory in a 4-2 loss.
The All-Star right-hander is 7-2 with a 2.98 ERA in 17 home starts.
The Diamondbacks enter play Friday with a four-game lead in the NL West over San Diego. Los Angeles is 1 1/2 games behind the Padres, who lead the NL wild card race.
The Dodgers won seven of their first nine meetings with the Diamondbacks this season before Arizona posted two shutouts in sweeping a three-game set at Dodger Stadium from Aug. 3-5.
“They’re a good team,” Arizona first baseman Conor Jackson told the team’s official Web site. “They’re a team that can get hot and run away with it, so it’s one of those things where we have to take it very seriously and just keep playing the way we have the last few weeks.”
Arizona, which is batting an NL-low .248, has won seven out of eight games. Byrnes is hitting .366 (15-for-41) in his last 11 games.
The Dodgers picked up a crucial game on the Padres by beating San Diego 6-3 on Thursday.
James Loney capped a big series by going 3-for-4 with four RBIs. The rookie went 9-for-13 with two homers and eight RBIs in the three games.
“I’m having fun right now,” he said. “I don’t put too much pressure on myself. They put me in there to produce.”
Garciaparra missed his second straight game for the Dodgers due to the strained left calf that has limited him to three starts since Aug. 13.
“Nomar’s not 100 percent,” manager Grady Little said. “It’s very likely he won’t be ready to play every day the rest of the season. That’s a tough injury.”