Diamondbacks-Dodgers Preview


The Arizona Diamondbacks may be in third place in the NL West, but the defending division champs are making some noise, helped by some recent success over the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers

The Diamondbacks look to defeat the Dodgers for a fifth straight time Tuesday night.

Los Angeles moved into a virtual tie for the West lead after a sweep of San Francisco over the weekend, but Arizona slowed the Dodgers (56-48) with a 7-2 win Monday, its fourth straight in the series between these clubs.

The victory moved the Diamondbacks (52-51) within 3 1/2 games of the division lead. They haven't been any closer to first since April 19.

For third baseman Chris Johnson, who hit a grand slam in his Arizona debut, the excitement of a playoff race is a welcome change from major league-worst Houston, which dealt him to the Diamondbacks on Sunday.

"One of the guys on the bench said: 'Anybody know what the Giants did tonight?' And that kind of shocked me, because I'm not really used to that," said Johnson, who had batted .279 with eight homers and 41 RBIs with the Astros. "But it was intense out there, especially playing these guys. This team doesn't want to lose to those guys over there, so it was fun tonight."

The Dodgers had received a lift when they acquired Hanley Ramirez from Miami last week. However, Ramirez went 0 for 4 in his home debut after hitting .333 with seven RBIs through his first five games for Los Angeles.

The Dodgers added yet another potent bat to their lineup prior to Tuesday's trade deadline, obtaining two-time All-Star center fielder Shane Victorino from Philadelphia for reliever Josh Lindblom and minor league pitcher Ethan Martin. Victorino is expected to fill the leadoff spot once he joins the team, and could push Matt Kemp into left field - a shift Kemp told Dodgers officials he'd be willing to make.

Trying to bounce back from Monday's loss, the Dodgers will hand the ball to Chris Capuano (10-6, 3.13 ERA), who looks to continue his strong season at home.

Capuano is 5-2 with a 1.64 ERA in 10 starts at Dodger Stadium, although he's failed to record a victory in his last five starts there, hurt by poor run support.

The left-hander is coming off his worst start of the season. He gave up six earned runs and 11 hits - both season highs - in a season-low 4 1-3 innings of a 7-4 loss at St. Louis on Thursday.

Capuano - who began his career with Arizona in 2003 - has split two starts against the Diamondbacks this year, both on the road. He allowed five runs and nine hits in five innings of a 7-1 loss July 8.

The Diamondbacks will give the ball to Wade Miley (11-6, 3.11).

Miley had some trouble Thursday, giving up three runs and nine hits over 5 1-3 innings of a 3-1 loss to New York. He threw 107 pitches but failed to make it through the sixth inning for the third time in his last five outings.

The left-hander has split two starts against the Dodgers this season, losing at home July 5 after allowing four runs in 6 2-3 innings.

The Dodgers acquired former All-Star closer Brandon League from Seattle on Monday night to strengthen their bullpen. League was 0-5 with nine saves in 15 opportunities and a 3.63 ERA in 46 appearances for the Mariners this season.