06/19/10 1:54 AM ET
Padilla set to show Dodgers he's healthy
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
The Dodgers will be getting back Opening Day starter Vicente Padilla, who will be making his first start since April 22 after spending nearly two months on the disabled list with an inflamed radial nerve in his throwing arm.
It's been a long time coming for Padilla to return to the rotation, and he'll be looking to prove that his 6.65 ERA in his first four starts of the season came because of injury and that he's more like the pitcher who went 4-0 with a 3.20 ERA in eight appearances for the Dodgers down the stretch last season.
But he'll be facing a tough Red Sox lineup, and he hasn't had too much success against Boston in the past, with a 2-3 record and 4.84 ERA in seven career outings, including six starts. Padilla, though, has actually fared well at Fenway Park, with a 3.14 ERA, but it came in only three appearances at the historic ballpark.
His Red Sox counterpart, Tim Wakefield, has plenty of experience at Fenway, and it shows, as he recently became Boston's all-time leader in innings pitched and became one of only three active players to reach the 3,000 innings pitched plateau in his past start on Sunday.
The veteran knuckleballer was solid in that latest outing but was hurt by one bad inning, as he allowed four runs, which all came in the fourth inning, over 7 1/3 innings in a 5-3 loss to the Phillies.
Wakefield, who has lasted at least six innings in each of his previous three starts, said his goal going in was to try to pitch deep into the game.
"Well that was my mindset going into the day, to go as deep as I could," said Wakefield. "I actually felt great in the eighth. We're on the losing end, so [manager Terry Francona] can't let me out there too much longer, but I did get us into the eighth. And unfortunately, it was one bad inning."
Dodgers: Manny comes home to Fenway
Ramirez made his long-awaited return to Fenway Park on Friday and went 1-for-5 with one run scored as the Dodgers' designated hitter. It marked Ramirez's first game back in Boston since being traded to Los Angeles minutes before the Trade Deadline in 2008. Ramirez will have another chance on Saturday against Wakefield, who he hasn't faced since 2000. The slugger is a career .231 hitter (6-for-26) against the knuckleballer with two doubles and one RBI.
Red Sox: Big Papi sizzling
David Ortiz, who was part of the Red Sox's famous 1-2 punch along with Ramirez that helped lead Boston to two World Series titles, certainly made his mark on Friday with a two-run homer in the first inning against Dodgers starter Carlos Monasterios. Ortiz also extended his hitting streak to seven games with his homer, which was his 15th of the season.
The series at Fenway Park marks just the second time the two clubs have met there, with the first coming June 11-13, 2004, when Boston won two out of three. The only other time the two clubs have met during the regular season was June 21-23, 2003, when the Dodgers swept the series at Dodger Stadium. ... The three-game series also began just one day after the Lakers defeated the Celtics in seven games in the NBA Finals. If the Celtics would have won, their championship parade was set for Saturday, but instead, Los Angeles is hosting a parade Monday. ... Left-hander Felix Doubront, who started in the first game of the series, became the first Red Sox pitcher to make his Major League debut with Boston since Michael Bowden did it on Aug. 20, 2008, against the White Sox. The Red Sox also designated right-handed pitcher Boof Bonser for assignment to make room for Doubront on the roster.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.