Pregame linesups; Blanton arrives

August, 4, 2012
8/04/12
5:52
PM PT
LOS ANGELES -- Newly acquired right-hander Joe Blanton will make his Dodgers debut Sunday in the series finale against the Chicago Cubs, pushing Aaron Harang's scheduled start back a couple of days as manager Don Mattingly re-shuffles his pitching rotation.

Blanton, 31, arrived in town late Friday night after his trade from Philadelphia, where he was due to pitch earlier in the day, and was in uniform meeting new teammates before Saturday night's game.

"I'm excited to be here. I know it's a great ballclub here, a lot of good players, a lot of talent," Blanton said.

In a corresponding move, the Dodgers optioned 25-year-old right-hander Stephen Fife (0-1, 2.16 ERA) to Triple-A Albuquerque. Mattingly is hopeful Blanton (8-9, 4.55 ERA) can spark a staff that might have lost veteran left-hander Ted Lilly (shoulder) for the season. Blanton has averaged 7 2/3 innings over his last three starts and leads the National League with a 6.39 strikeout-to-walk ratio. And this is all while making his home starts at Citizens Bank Park, long considered a hitter's park.

A move to spacious Dodger Stadium, where Blanton has a career 3.32 ERA, could prove fruitful.

"This is a great place to pitch," he said. "Being in California you get the cool air at night. The ball doesn't travel as well as it does in Philly it seems like."

Blanton was traded once before, to Philadelphia from Oakland in 2008. The Phillies defeated the Dodgers in the NLCS on their way to a World Series title.

"Hopefully history will repeat itself for me," Blanton said.

Lineups for Saturday's game:

Cubs
1. Starlin Castro SS
2. Darwin Barney 2B
3. Anthony Rizzo 1B
4. Alfonso Soriano LF
5. Jeff Baker RF
6. Welington Castillo C
7. Joe Mather CF
8. Luis Valbuena 3B
9. Chris Volstad P

Dodgers
1. Shane Victorino LF
2. Mark Ellis 2B
3. Matt Kemp CF
4. Andre Ethier RF
5. Hanley Ramirez SS
6. James Loney 1B
7. Jerry Hairston Jr. 3B
8. A.J. Ellis C
9. Clayton Kershaw P

Blair Angulo | email

Reporter, WeAreSC.com

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Clayton Kershaw
WINS ERA SO IP
21 1.77 239 198
OTHER LEADERS
BAY. Puig .296
HRA. Gonzalez 27
RBIA. Gonzalez 116
RY. Puig 92
OPSY. Puig .863
ERAC. Kershaw 1.77
SOC. Kershaw 239