The Los Angeles Dodgers were hoping a playoff berth would be on the line for their final series of the season against the rival San Francisco Giants. A late-season free fall in the standings has put an end to that scenario.
The Dodgers look to avoid falling to .500 for the first time since the season’s opening week when they open a three-game series against the Giants on Friday at Dodger Stadium.
Los Angeles (80-79) was 3 1/2 games out of first place in the NL West on Sept. 15, but has dropped 10 of 11 since to fall nine games behind division-leading Arizona.
The Dodgers are in danger of dropping to .500 for the first time since they were 2-2 on April 6.
Los Angeles lost 10-4 to the Rockies at home on Thursday to complete a three-game sweep. The Dodgers also suffered a four-game sweep at Colorado from Sept. 18-20.
First baseman James Loney drove in three runs in Thursday’s loss, giving him a major league-best 31 RBIs this month. In his last 16 games, Loney is batting .446 (29-for-65) with five home runs and 22 RBIs.
David Wells (8-9, 5.53 ERA) looks to bounce back after a couple of rough starts when he takes the ball Friday for the final time this season.
Pitching on three days’ rest, Wells allowed five runs and nine hits in 4 2-3 innings of a 6-2 loss to Arizona on Saturday. It was the second straight start giving up five runs for the 44-year-old left-hander, who had gone 3-0 with a 3.91 ERA in his first four starts with the Dodgers.
Wells is 3-2 with a 3.88 ERA in nine career starts San Francisco.
The Giants (70-89) lost 11-3 to San Diego on Wednesday, their second straight defeat and 10th in 14 games.
San Francisco, which will finish last in the West for the first time since 1996, will rest many of its regulars for this weekend’s series.
“You’ll see the young players out there,” manager Bruce Bochy told the team’s official Web site. “It’s a chance for them to play in Los Angeles against a good ballclub.”
Giants starter Kevin Correia (4-6, 3.20) looks to end his season with another stellar outing.
Correia allowed five hits and struck out six in seven innings of a 2-0 win over Cincinnati on Saturday, but did not get the decision. After struggling as a reliever, the right-hander is 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in seven starts.
“I feel like this is what I’m supposed to be doing, and I feel like a starting pitcher more than a relief pitcher now,” Correia said.
“At this point, right now, I’m kind of where I want to be. At the end of the year, your stuff should be to the point where you’ve got a pretty good command over all your pitches.”
This will be Correia’s first start of the year against the Dodgers, after going 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in seven relief appearance against them this season. He is 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA in 15 games - two starts - lifetime versus Los Angeles.