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Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Steven Rodriguez moves fast and why can't Dodgers hit lefties?

By Mark Saxon

Reliever Steven Rodriguez was packing for a trip to Jackson, Miss., when he got a call from Double-A Chattanooga manager Carlos Subero. While the team was going to Jackson, Rodriguez would be heading a little further west.

“I left so many things,” Rodriguez said. “I just grabbed a bunch of clothes and said, ‘Let’s go.’“

It’s fair to say the timetable has sped up a bit for Rodriguez, whom the Dodgers drafted out of Florida in the second round just three months ago. The Dodgers need a second left-handed reliever to go with Randy Choate now that Scott Elbert is on the disabled list.

Rodriguez, 21, had three saves and a 1.32 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 15 games for Chattanooga.

“I didn’t expect this,” Rodriguez said. “Now, I’ve got to go out and do my job.”

Meanwhile, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly admits he's a bit befuddled at the Dodgers' offensive funk.

He's particularly galled that the Dodgers have struggled so badly against soft-tossing, left-handed pitchers, guys like Mark Buehrle, Jeff Francis, Tyler Skaggs and Eric Stults. They're facing Clayton Richard, a lefty who throws with a bit more velocity, tonight. They'll see another finesse left-hander, Barry Zito, Sunday in San Francisco.

"We're kind of seeing the same guy and not making enough adjustments," Mattingly said.

Here are lineups for Wednesday's game:

San Diego
Everth Cabrera SS
Will Venable RF
Chase Headley 3B
Carlos Quentin LF
Yasmani Grandal C
Yonder Alonso 1B
Logan Forsythe 2B
Cameron Maybin CF
Clayton Richard P

Dodgers
Mark Ellis 2B
Shane Victorino LF
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Matt Kemp CF
Hanley Ramirez SS
Andre Ethier RF
Luis Cruz 3B
A.J. Ellis C
Aaron Harang P