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Dodgers turn to veterans Brett Anderson, Scott Kazmir in hopes of clinching division

Veteran Brett Anderson will return to the Dodgers rotation Friday.
(Kathy Willens / Associated Press)

After a summer spent relying upon rookie pitchers, the Dodgers will turn back to two veterans as the team tries to clinch the National League West title. Brett Anderson and Scott Kazmir will return to the starting rotation this weekend against Colorado, with Anderson set for Friday and Kazmir slated for Saturday.

Neither Anderson (0-2, 24.75 earned-run average) nor Kazmir (10-6, 4.59) has started for the Dodgers since August. The team put them on the disabled list Aug. 23, Anderson because of a blister on his left hand and Kazmir because of thoracic spinal inflammation. Anderson made a five-inning rehabilitation start with triple-A Oklahoma City last week. Kazmir threw 60 innings in a simulated game.

The Dodgers chose to start them over rookie options like Ross Stripling, Brock Stewart and Jose De Leon. Roberts offered a vote of confidence for the readiness of Anderson and Kazmir.

With Kazmir, these next two weeks could double as an audition for the playoff rotation, if Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill are unable to pitch on short rest in an NL division series.

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“We have to see what we have in him,” Roberts said. “He’s a guy that we had high expectations for. It’s been a tough year for him. But with where he’s at, we’re confident he can regain his form and pitch well for us.”

The Dodgers signed Kazmir to a three-year, $48-million contract in the off-season. He can opt out of the contract after this season.

Mired by stiffness in his neck and back, Kazmir was unable to properly rotate his head to see the plate while pitching for several weeks before landing on the disabled list. He has a 4.78 ERA in the second half of the season.

Anderson sat out the first four months of the season after undergoing back surgery in March. He gave up five runs in one inning in his first outing back; he gave up six runs in three innings in his next game.

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Roberts said that Stewart and De Leon were still “in the mix” to start games during the last two weeks. The team views Stripling, who has 4.52 ERA in 14 starts and a 2.45 ERA in six relief outings, as a potential reliever on the playoff roster.

“We’re still trying to sift through these decisions,” Roberts said. “And see how these guys perform.”

andy.mccullough@latimes.com

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Twitter: @McCulloughTimes


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