© 2010 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
PrintPrint

05/11/10 7:59 PM ET

Kuroda doesn't fear return to Chase Field

Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda and every player wearing a D-backs uniform will have the same goal when they step on the field Wednesday: Forget about the past.

The D-backs surely want to forget Tuesday night's 13-3 drubbing by the Dodgers and their current five-game losing streak. As for Kuroda, he takes the Chase Field mound for the first time since being carted off it and taken to a hospital after being hit on the head by a Rusty Ryal line drive last Aug. 15.

Kuroda suffered a concussion and believes a herniated disk in his neck that ruined his postseason was a lingering result of the incident. He's watched the video several times.

"I wanted to see how I was hit," he said. "I don't have a fear about watching the video. On the mound, you're a different person."

Kuroda should feel good about the way his team is playing. The Dodgers have won three games in a row and are in third place in the National League West.

However, the right-hander is coming off of his worst start of the season. Kuroda allowed more runs (four) and recorded fewer outs (16) than in any of his other starts and set a career high with five walks (two intentional).

D-backs starter Edwin Jackson has shown improvement. The right-hander allowed three runs on six hits over seven innings to the Brewers at Chase Field in his last start after allowing 18 runs in 6 1/3 innings against the Rockies and Cubs in his two previous starts.

"I thought Edwin was very focused, he was very aggressive early," D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said. "It looked like he was pitching with an attitude which was good to see. He had an aggression to him that I think he needs to pitch with. His demeanor, his approach, his execution, while not perfect, was much, much better than it had been."

The key for Jackson's success is controlled aggressiveness early in counts. He runs into trouble when he falls behind in counts and hitters can wait for his fastball.

"It was just a matter of getting back to being aggressive especially in the strike zone, pitching with a chip on my shoulder, pretty much attacking hitters, my best stuff against their best stuff," Jackson said.

D-backs: Valdez's start skipped
The D-backs have decided to skip fifth starter Cesar Valdez's turn in the rotation with Thursday's off-day. It sets up Ian Kennedy for Friday's outing in Atlanta with Rodrigo Lopez taking the ball Saturday and Dan Haren on Sunday. ... General Manager Josh Byrnes said his team won't make a move just to make a point or send a signal with the bullpen, but that doesn't mean he is not open to improving his team. "Any move is to believe we can get better, not just to demonstrate we are trying," Byrnes said.

Dodgers: Dodgers stick with Anderson
Garret Anderson is batting .122 and is 0-for-13 against left-handed pitching, but Dodgers management is sticking with him as he tries to reinvent himself as a pinch-hitter after a career as an everyday player. ... Friday will be Ramon Ortiz's first Major League start since May 26, 2007, for Minnesota. He spent 2008 playing in Japan and 2009 at Triple-A for the Giants. ... Fans wanting to see the Dodgers play the Yankees at Dodger Stadium next month must purchase mini-plans or season tickets because tickets will not be available on an individual game basis, the club announced.

Worth noting
Ryal said if he should face Kuroda in the series finale Wednesday, it wouldn't be any different than facing any other right-hander. "I said what I needed to say when it happened," Ryal said. "It was an unfortunate situation and it happened. We take the same chance as [pitchers] do when we get in the box, except we don't have control of the ball. I'm glad to see he is back on the mound."

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


MLB.com