Chris Capuano fell out of the Los Angeles Dodgers' rotation before this season started. Now the left-hander is back in it for the second time in 2013.
Capuano is expected to be removed from the disabled list Monday night when the host Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks both try to avoid a sixth loss in seven games.
Despite making 33 starts - tied with Clayton Kershaw for the 2012 team lead - and going 12-12 with a career-best 3.72 ERA in his first campaign with the Dodgers, Capuano (0-1, 9.64 ERA) was demoted to the bullpen with Los Angeles signing Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu in the offseason.
However, with Greinke suffering a broken collarbone April 11 during a benches-clearing brawl at San Diego, Capuano made his first start five days later against the Padres. He was tagged for five runs and lasted just two innings in that 9-2 loss due to a strained left calf. Capuano had suffered the injury while sprinting in from the bullpen during the brawl, though he still threw 1 2-3 scoreless innings in relief of Greinke that night.
"It's frustrating because I've worked really hard to keep myself in shape and keep myself ready for that opportunity," Capuano told the Dodgers' official website last week. "... When you give everything you have like that, you try not to let these little setbacks derail you."
Capuano was 0-2 with a 7.31 ERA in his final three starts versus Arizona last year.
The Dodgers (13-17) just suffered three straight one-run losses at San Francisco and carry a four-game skid back to Los Angeles, where they'll play their next nine.
Manager Don Mattingly said he felt "great about coming out of here," but catcher A.J. Ellis had a different opinion following Sunday's 4-3 loss.
"It is really hard to talk about moral victories after being swept," said Ellis, who was 6 for 13 in the series.
There weren't many positives for the Diamondbacks (16-15) after they had four hits in Sunday's 5-1 loss at San Diego.
"We didn't have anything going at all," said manager Kirk Gibson, a former Dodger great.
Perhaps giving the ball to Trevor Cahill (1-3, 2.84) will help Arizona get off to a better start on the second leg of its six-game trip. The Southern California native is 4-0 with a 2.03 ERA in seven starts against the Dodgers after throwing 7 1-3 innings of six-hit ball in a 1-0 walkoff win April 14.
Cahill was just about as dominant Tuesday, giving up a run and four hits in eight-plus innings of a 2-1 loss to San Francisco as J.J. Putz blew the save.
"It's real frustrating when it is so close and you can't finish it out," said Cahill, who has received 10 total runs of support in six starts. "You're going to kick yourself even more than if you only went three and gave up 10 runs. It's a bad feeling."
Adrian Gonzalez, who had a pinch-hit two-run single Sunday, has been nursing a stiff neck, and it's uncertain if he'll be out of the Dodgers lineup for a fourth straight game. Cahill probably wouldn't mind if he took another day to recuperate, as Gonzalez went 3 for 3 with a double off him last month.
Gonzalez had the Dodgers' only home run in that series, in which Arizona took two of three. The Diamondbacks have won 12 of 15 in this NL West matchup.
Paul Goldschmidt, a .341 hitter at Dodger Stadium, is 9 for 12 with two homers and three doubles off Capuano. The .750 average is Goldschmidt's highest against any pitcher he's faced more than four times.
The Associated Press News Service
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