Dodgers Nationals Game 1 Preview

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Jul 16, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner (10) hits an RBI single in the third inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 16, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner (10) hits an RBI single in the third inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /
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After losing their first series of the second half, the Dodgers head out East to continue their road trip against the Washington Nationals.

The Dodgers fell short on Sunday despite scoring five runs in the last two innings, causing them to lose their first series of the year against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Thankfully, the San Francisco Giants were swept this past weekend keeping the Dodgers just 5.5 back of the division lead.

But things will not get any easier for the Dodgers, as now they get to face the Washington Nationals, who are among the best in all of baseball. The Dodgers will be sending out Scott Kazmir (7-3, 4.52) to try to get things done in game one of the series this afternoon. Kazmir has not been up to standards, to say the least, and he is hoping for a fresh start in the second half. Kazmir is 3-0 in his last seven starts, but he has received plenty of offensive help. Kazmir owns a 4.76 ERA in his last seven, to go along with a 1.53 WHIP. Although, Kazmir did put in a quality start against Washington back on June 21st. Kazmir went six innings, giving up two earned runs.

The Nationals will be doing things a little bit differently, giving prospect Reynaldo Lopez his first career major league start. Lopez is the 48th ranked prospect according to Baseball America. In 16 starts this year in the minors, Lopez had a 3.19 ERA to go along with 109 strikeouts. Lopez got some attention in the Futures Game touching 100 on the gun a few times in his one inning of action.

Corey Seager is notably absent from the lineup. Weird timing, right after an off day, but there’s no news about it so its probably just a scheduled off day. Chris Taylor will start at short

The Dodgers made some moves on the DL this morning, as Joc Pederson was activated and will start in center for the first time since running into the wall in Milwaukee on June 28th to preserve a Dodgers’ lead.

Luis Avilan was also recalled, and to make room on the roster a pair of pitchers were placed on the DL. Casey Fien allowed five hits and four runs while getting one out over the weekend in Arizona, and he was placed on the DL with elbow tendinitis retroactive to July 17th. The sadder news, Hyun-jin Ryu was also placed on the DL with elbow tendonitis. He was scheduled to make his second start of the season tomorrow, and now it’s looking like he won’t be counted on at all as the season progresses. Clayton Kershaw will likely be back soon and Alex Wood and Brett Anderson are both progressing well, so in the long run this injury won’t doom the Dodgers. However, they will need a starter for tomorrow, and that will likely either be Bud Norris being moved up from Thursday to Wednesday (on normal rest with an off day yesterday), Brock Stewart (scheduled to start for OKC tonight) or Jose De Leon (scheduled to start tomorrow for OKC).

Next: A Look at the Three Seager Brothers

First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 PST and will be shown on Sportsnet LA.

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