Diamondbacks-Dodgers Preview


Andre Ethier is on a tear, and that's rather common against the Arizona Diamondbacks - especially at home.

Ethier looks for another big effort at the plate as the Dodgers attempt to conclude this four-game series with back-to-back wins over the Diamondbacks on Sunday.

Ethier is hitting .474 with three doubles, three homers, eight RBIs and 10 runs over the past 10 games. The right fielder continued his torrid hitting Saturday by going 2 for 3 with a solo homer to provide the difference in a 2-1 win over Arizona (66-68), ending an eight-game losing streak in the season series for Los Angeles (71-63).

Ethier has routinely pounded on Diamondbacks pitching, hitting .384 at home lifetime against them and .338 overall. This season, he's batting .333 at home compared to .252 on the road.

Another strong performance from Ethier may be just what the Dodgers need to move closer to a playoff spot. They're tied with Pittsburgh, 1 1/2 games back of St. Louis for the second NL wild-card position.

Los Angeles is also trying to cut into a 4 1/2-game deficit to NL West-leading San Francisco before visiting the Giants for three games next weekend.

"It's nice to be in the middle of that in September," said Josh Beckett, who won his first game with the Dodgers on Saturday. "We got to figure out some way to win some series. We got some tough ones coming up against the Giants."

Adrian Gonzalez, acquired along with Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto in that blockbuster trade with Boston, has struggled after homering in a three-hit game in his Dodgers debut Aug. 25. He went 0 for 4 Saturday and is 3 for 24 with two RBIs in his last six games.

Los Angeles could use improvement from Gonzalez with Chris Capuano (11-10, 3.58 ERA) scheduled to get the ball.

The left-hander is 1-5 with a 5.77 ERA in seven starts, losing his last two while surrendering 12 runs and 16 hits in 11 innings.

That may not bode well heading into a meeting with the Diamondbacks since he's been hit hard in the last two matchups, losing both while giving up 10 runs and 15 hits - three homers - in 11 innings.

Capuano was tagged for five runs and six hits, with two leaving Dodger Stadium in an 8-2 loss July 31.

The Diamondbacks are looking to regain their momentum after having their six-game road winning streak snapped Saturday.

They're expected to turn to Wade Miley (14-9, 2.85), who has won both of his visits to Chavez Ravine this year with a 1.23 ERA. That includes beating Capuano on July 31 after yielding one run and three hits with seven strikeouts in eight innings.

The left-hander was victimized by a big inning Tuesday, allowing three runs in the second before settling down and tossing five more scoreless in a 5-2 loss to Cincinnati.

"The first couple of innings everything was up," Miley said. "I was able to make the adjustment, but it didn't work out."