After staying relatively quiet at the non-waiver trade deadline last month, the Los Angeles Dodgers were anything but at the waiver cutoff.
A day after acquiring slugging first baseman Jim Thome(notes) and right-hander Jon Garland(notes), the Dodgers continue their pursuit of the NL West title Tuesday when they host the Arizona Diamondbacks, who seek their first six-game winning streak in 17 months.
Los Angeles (78-54) traded for reliever George Sherrill(notes) and hoped to get by with a couple of minor moves at the July 31st non-waiver deadline, but a lackluster August forced the team to re-evaluate. The Dodgers went 14-15 in August, watching their once-comfortable eight-game lead atop the division shrink to 5 1/2.
Bolstering its roster in hopes of capturing its second straight division crown and winning its first World Series title since 1988, Los Angeles acquired Thome from the Chicago White Sox and Garland from Arizona on Monday.
The deals were announced in the top of the eighth inning during a 5-3, 10-inning loss to the Diamondbacks. Both trades were completed before the midnight EDT deadline required for postseason eligibility.
The 39-year-old Thome, who has not played first base since playing one game in 2007, hit .249 with 23 homers, 74 RBIs and a .372 on-base percentage as a designated hitter for the White Sox.
“We’re not bringing him over here to play first base,” Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. “We’re bringing him here to come off the bench and be a great influence in the clubhouse. He’s one of the true great guys in the game.”
Thome, 12th in the all-time home run list with 564, joins Manny Ramirez(notes), who hit his 542nd career homer Monday to move within six of Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt for 14th all-time. The power hitters with a combined 1,106 homers were teammates on Cleveland in the 1990s and went to the ’97 World Series together.
Garland, who was scheduled to pitch the series finale against the Dodgers on Thursday, went 8-11 with a 4.29 ERA in 27 starts for the Diamondbacks.
Garland’s former team won for the fifth straight time Monday after losing nine of its previous 10.
Petit allowed four hits in six innings of an 11-0 win over San Francisco on Thursday to record his first victory since Aug. 4, against San Francisco. He has given up one run over 12 innings in two starts since making a mechanical adjustment in his windup.
“It’s helped him keep the ball down and given him a little deception,” pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. told the Diamondbacks’ official Web site.
Stottlemyre and Petit made the change after the right-hander was tagged for seven runs and nine hits - including three home runs - in four innings of a 9-3 loss to the Dodgers on Aug. 16.
Padilla signed a minor league contract with Los Angeles on Aug. 19 after he was released by Texas. The right-hander gave the Dodgers a surprising lift at Colorado on Thursday, allowing two runs and six hits in five innings of a 3-2 victory.
“I can do a lot for this team,” said Padilla, who improved to 6-1 with a 3.49 ERA in eight starts against the NL since 2008.
Padilla made an interleague start against Arizona on June 24, giving up one run and six hits in seven innings of a 2-1 win for the Rangers.