The Los Angeles Dodgers will be sporting a new look with a familiar feel Wednesday afternoon as they look to continue their momentum following a wild victory over the Toronto Blue Jays a night earlier
While pitching is expected to be the Dodgers' target at the upcoming trade deadline, their first move of the deal-making season came Tuesday when they acquired utility man Enrique Hernandez from the Red Sox. Boston received minor league relievers Nick Robertson and Justin Hagenman in the swap and also agreed to pay most of Hernandez's remaining salary this year
Hernandez is expected to be in the Dodgers' starting lineup on Wednesday, although manager Dave Roberts did not say if the club's former spark plug and fan favorite will be playing in the infield or outfield
The right-handed-hitting Hernandez figures to start against left-handed pitching, and the Blue Jays will have lefty Yusei Kikuchi (7-3, 3.92 ERA) on the mound in the rubber game of the three-game series
"He's a Swiss army knife," Roberts said of Hernandez. "He's one of the most talented baseball players I've been around. I'm excited to see him blend in with this ballclub."
It will be excitement all around after the Dodgers scored four runs in the ninth inning to send the Tuesday game into extra innings, then won it 8-7 in the 10th on James Outman's RBI double. Outman had three hits and reached base five times
It has not been the best of seasons for Hernandez, who is batting .222 with a career-low .599 OPS through 86 games. He has six home runs and 31 RBIs.
"He obviously helped us win a championship (in 2020) and had his best years in a Dodger uniform," Roberts said of Hernandez, who played in Los Angeles from 2015-20. "I know fans are excited."
The Dodgers will send right-hander Tony Gonsolin (5-3, 3.94 ERA) to the mound on Wednesday. Gonsolin has given up exactly four runs in four of his past five outings, including his most recent start, a no-decision against the Texas Rangers on Friday
In six starts dating to June 18, Gonsolin has struggled to the tune of a 6.97 ERA in 31 innings. He has never faced the Blue Jays
Kikuchi faced his former team in his most recent outing, tossing 5 1/3 scoreless innings against the Mariners on Friday. It was his fourth scoreless start of the season, but the shortest of the bunch.
"If you look at our season overall, without (Kikuchi), where would we be?" Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after the outing. "He's been steady. He's been reliable. That's just another really good outing from him.
After a solid June during which he had a 2.28 ERA in five starts, Kikuchi struggled to open July, yielding a combined nine runs allowed over 9 1/3 innings in outings against the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago White Sox. However, he has given up just two runs, one earned, over his past two starts (10 total innings).
Bo Bichette had four hits for Toronto on Tuesday, including his 17th home run, to end an 0-for-18 drought, the longest hitless spell of his career. Toronto catchers Alejandro Kirk and Danny Jansen combined for four RBIs in the late innings before the Dodgers rallied
Freddie Freeman and J.D. Martinez hit home runs for the Dodgers, while Chris Taylor tied the game with two outs in the ninth on a two-run infield single that tipped off the glove of Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr
--Field Level Media