Clayton Kershaw made his long-awaited return from the injured list Thursday, Lance Lynn will take the mound Friday night, and in what seems like a flash, the Los Angeles Dodgers have a rotation of veterans again
Injuries forced the Dodgers into a bevy of starting-pitching changes this season with four rookies making at least three starts each. Right-handed rookie Bobby Miller remains on the starting staff
Lynn is set to make his third start with the club since he was acquired at the trade deadline from the Chicago White Sox. Friday's matchup, against the Colorado Rockies, will come in the second game of a four-game series in Los Angeles
In his first start since June 27, Kershaw gave up one run in five innings against the Rockies on Thursday and started the Dodgers toward a 2-1 victory when Max Muncy homered in the seventh inning and walked with the bases loaded in the eighth
Los Angeles has won five straight games and nine of its past 10
Lynn (8-9, 6.11 ERA) has won his first two starts with his new club. He gave up three runs in seven innings against the Oakland Athletics on Aug. 1 and one run over six innings against the San Diego Padres on Sunday
His 2.77 ERA with the Dodgers looks nothing like his 6.47 mark with the White Sox, although if there is a lingering concern, it is that Lynn has given up four home runs in his two Dodgers starts. He leads the major leagues with 32 allowed
So far, though, the Dodgers are pleased with their new arrival
"They've been fun," Lynn said of his Dodger starts. "Offense has given me runs early. Defense has been good behind me. Thrown to both catchers now and they've been awesome. So just trying to make pitches, make sure I don't put up a big inning, and go from there. It's been good.
In nine career starts against the Rockies, Lynn is 4-2 with a 2.20 ERA
The Rockies will send left-hander Austin Gomber (9-8, 5.40) to the mound Friday. Gomber has not given up an earned run in two of his last three starts, including a six-inning outing against the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday when he led the way to a 1-0 victory
It was a statement outing for Gomber, who was traded to the Rockies before the 2021 season when Colorado fan favorite Nolan Arenado was moved to St. Louis
"In my mind, this was significant for him in a lot of ways," Rockies manager Bud Black said Sunday. "I don't want to overplay it, but I know he feels good about this one.
Black said Thursday his starting staff has been hit-and-miss and the offense has been inconsistent. The club's infield defense had a standout game Thursday
"You need consistent relief pitching because our starters have been a little bit too variable," Black said. "And in the bigger picture, the offense has to contribute too. ... We've got to hit. We've got to hit a little bit better.
Colorado is close to getting back second baseman Brendan Rodgers and outfielder Charlie Blackmon
Rodgers has missed the last three games with hamstring discomfort but is expected back Friday. Blackmon has been out since June 10 with a right hand fracture but is leaving Friday for what is expected to be a short rehab assignment at Triple-A Albuquerque
"(Blackmon) is going to play in a game, so we're excited about that," Black said. "Charlie feels as though he's ready.
--Field Level Medi