06/01/10 7:58 PM ET
Sparks could fly in D-backs-Dodgers finale
By Zach Schonbrun / MLB.com
Though there was no physical altercation or ejections, both benches cleared in the seventh inning of Tuesday's 1-0 Los Angeles win after Dodgers catcher Russell Martin slid hard into second base, catching D-backs shortstop Stephen Drew with his spike.
It provided a tense moment between the National League West rivals, who will see a lot more of each other the rest of the season. They'll be back at it again on Wednesday, when the Dodgers go for a three-game sweep.
The Dodgers are looking to rediscover their offensive spark. A torrid start to Andre Ethier's season was knocked off track when he fractured his finger and missed two weeks. Activated off the disabled list on Monday, Ethier is 1-for-8 in his first two games back.
The Dodgers' other slugger, Manny Ramirez, is barely batting .200 since he was activated off the disabled list on May 8. He hit his first home since mid-April on Monday.
So, lately, the Dodgers have been relying heavily on outfielder Matt Kemp, and the results have been formidable: Kemp, who leads the National League with 43 runs scored, is 9-for-32 in his past seven games and hit a walk-off home run to beat the D-backs on Tuesday.
"Manny and Ethier in the middle of the lineup, hopefully Matt can reap the rewards of that," manager Joe Torre said. "When it's four guys to share the load, it doesn't fall on one guy and eases up the pressure a little bit."
The Dodgers have scored 19 runs in the past six games, but their pitching has carried them enough to mask the offensive shortcomings. Ethier, who was leading the NL in average, home runs and RBIs before his injury, is expected to reinvigorate the lineup.
The D-backs are in desperate need of some energy, too. Losers of nine in a row, Arizona turns to right-hander Edwin Jackson to stop the skid. Jackson allowed three runs on four hits in seven innings to San Francisco in his last start but lost, as Giants starter Matt Cain threw a one-hitter.
Such has been the fate of Arizona of late. Jackson will be making his second start of the season against his former team. He allowed six runs in 6 2/3 innings in a loss against the Dodgers on May 12.
The D-backs will be hoping for better than that on Wednesday.
"We're a team that needs a little life at this point," D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said.
D-backs: D-Train on way
The D-backs acquired left-hander Dontrelle Willis from Detroit on Tuesday, bringing Willis back to the NL, where he was once an All-Star and Rookie of the Year winner with Florida. Willis was designated for assignment by the Tigers over the weekend, after going 1-2 with a 4.98 ERA in eight starts and one relief appearance this season. He signed a three-year, $29 million contract extension with Detroit in 2007.
Arizona is hoping Willis can have a fresh start back in the league he's familiar with.
"I think he's always been known as a guy with a big personality," D-backs general manager Josh Byrnes said. "We encouraged him to be himself and to breathe some life into this team, which we need."
Dodgers: Celebration for Lima
The Dodgers announced they will celebrate the life of the late pitcher Jose Lima on Sunday, with a pregame performance by musicians Johnny Polanco and Estrellas de Tuzantle. There will also be a showing of Lima's own rendition of the national anthem and "God Bless America," which he sang in 2004, as well as a video tribute. His son, Jose Jr., is expected to throw out the first pitch.
Lima passed away at age 37 on May 23. He pitched 13 seasons in the Major Leagues, including the 2004 season with L.A.
The Dodgers are 17-5 against the NL West this season. ... Dodgers infielder Blake DeWitt received the day off on Tuesday. Torre said Ramirez will likely rest Wednesday.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.