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Dodgers use homers from Pujols and Smith to complete sweep of Diamondbacks

Dodgers ride a two-run by Albert Pujols and a solo shot by Will Smith to victory.

Albert Pujols homers to right in the second inning.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Seven Dodger pitchers strike out 14 Diamondbacks as Dodgers win eight of nine games on homestand.

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How to watch and stream the Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks series on TV

Dodgers shortstop Gavin Lux throws to first during a win over the Miami Marlins on Sunday.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

Here’s how to watch this week’s four-game series between the Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks:

How to stream

Spectrum SportsNet LA is available with a subscription to AT&T TV “Choice Plan” ($84.99 / mo.). You can stream the game on your Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, and your browser.

Fans outside of the Los Angeles market can stream the games using MLB.TV.

How to watch on TV

Spectrum SportsNet LA will be carrying the game on cable and satellite providers.

How to listen

In Los Angeles, the games can be heard on 570 AM or 1020 AM (Español).

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Dodgers sweep the Diamondbacks, 3-2

Albert Pujols has gone from over-the-hill to over-the-moon, from 41-year-old castaway to rejuvenated slugger, a two-week transformation the first baseman achieved with a 35-mile drive up the 5 Freeway and a color-scheme change from Angels red to Dodgers blue.

Designated for assignment and released by the Angels, Pujols found a home with the defending World Series-champion Dodgers, and he rewarded that faith with his first homer for his new club, a two-run shot to right field in the second inning of Thursday night’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Will Smith, who idolized Pujols while growing up in Louisville, Ky., as Pujols was building his Hall-of-Fame resume with the St. Louis Cardinals, then followed suit in the seventh, banging a tie-breaking solo homer to left to lift the Dodgers to a 3-2 victory and a four-game sweep in Chavez Ravine.

Kenley Jansen, the seventh pitcher in a bullpen relay, struck out two of three in the ninth for his 10th save.

Read more > > >

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We go to the ninth, Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 2

Diamondbacks: Muncy to first. Taylor to second. DJ Peters in the game at center. Right-hander Blake Treinen now pitching for the Dodgers. Marte fouled to third. Rojas grounded to first. Escobar singled to center. Tim Locastro ran for Escobar. With Reddick at bat, Locastro was caught stealing. Treinen threw an outside fastball, a perfect pitch for Smith to grab and throw, beating Locastro by an eyelash.

Dodgers: Right-hander Joakim Soria now pitching for the Diamondbacks. Lux struck out looking. Matt Beaty, batting for Treinen, walked on five pitches. Betts grounded to short, forcing Beaty at second. Muncy doubled into the shift, with the ball deflecting off the second baseman’s glove into right-center. The ball was scorched. No error, solid double. Betts stopped at third. Turner popped to second.

Score after eight: Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 2

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Dodgers take 3-2 lead on Will Smith’s homer

Diamondbacks: Vogt struck out looking. Kelly struck out swinging. Smith lined to third.

Dodgers: Smith homered to left on the first pitch, a 90-mph sinker. Taylor struck out swinging. Pujols struck out looking. Tsutsugo struck out swinging.

Score after seven: Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 2

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Diamondbacks tie it on Eduardo Escobar’s two-run homer

Diamondbacks: Right-hander Joe Kelly now pitching for the Dodgers. Smith flied to center. Marte doubled to left. Rojas struck out swinging. Escobar homered to right center, tying the score. It was an 87-mph curveball. He hung it. Reddick hit a fly ball to right-center. Taylor had it all the way, but at the last minute thought Betts was going to catch it, so he pulled up, then ran for it again and saw it bounce off his glove. Luckily, Reddick, assuming he’s be out, didn’t run full speed and ended up at first instead of second. Just the kind of heads down play Dodger fans remember about Reddick from his brief stay with the team. Peralta then singled into the hole, with Turner making a diving stop. He rolled over and threw the ball past Pujols at first, allowing Reddick to take third. Single and an error on Turner. And that will be it for Kelly. Left-hander Victor Gonzalez is now pitching. Leyba struck out swinging.

Dodgers: Betts lined to left. Muncy singled to right. Turner struck out looking. While Smith was batting, Muncy was picked off first. Caught him leaning.

Score after six innings: Dodgers 2, Diamondbacks 2

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Dodgers 2, Diamondbacks 0 after five innings

Diamondbacks: Left-hander Alex Vesia now pitching. Peralta grounded to second. Leyba struck out swinging. Vogt walked on four pitches. Kelly struck out looking.

Dodgers: Tsutsugo struck out looking. Lux struck out looking. Luke Raley, batting for Vesia, flied to center.

Score after five: Dodgers 2, Diamondbacks 0

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Still 2-0 Dodgers after four

Diamondbacks: Rojas flied to left. Escobar struck out looking. Reddick struck out swinging. Nelson has struck out five of the six batters he has faced. A great off-season pickup by the Dodgers.

Dodgers: Smith struck out swinging. Taylor singled to right-center. How great would it be if Pujols had his first four-homer game as a Dodgers? Well, he grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.

Score after four: Dodgers 2, Diamondbacks 0

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It’s 2-0 Dodgers after three

Diamondbacks: Right-hander Jimmy Nelson now pitching for the Dodgers. Merrill Kelly struck out looking. Smith struck out looking. Marte struck out swinging. Nelson strikes out the side.

Dodgers: Nelson struck out swinging. Betts struck out swinging. Muncy singled to center. After missing a home run foul by about a foot, Turner grounded to short.

Score after three: Dodgers 2, Diamondbacks 0

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Albert Pujols’ two-run homer gives Dodgers a 2-0 lead

Diamondbacks: Josh Reddick fouled to left, Gavin Lux had to run half-a-mile to catch it on the run. Nice play. David Peralta beat the shift by doubling down the third-base line. It was a routine ground ball. Domingo Leyba grounded to the pitcher, Peralta holds. Stephen Vogt struck out swinging.

Dodgers: Will Smith beat out a slow roller to third. Chris Taylor struck out looking. Albert Pujols homered to right on a 90-mph cutter. And he was thrilled. I believe I have seen Pujols smile more times the last week than I did in his last three seasons with the Angels. Yoshi Tsutsugo struck out swinging. Gavin Lux struck out swinging.

Score after two: Dodgers 2, Diamondbacks 0

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No score after first inning

Diamondbacks: Left-hander David Price starting for the Dodgers in what will be a bullpen game. Pavin Smith singled to shallow right. Ketel Marte grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. For all the criticism the shift receives, that double play doesn’t happen if the shift isn’t on. Josh Rojas doubled to left. Eduardo Escobar grounded to third.

Dodgers: Right-handed Merrill Kelly starting for the Diamondbacks. Mookie Betts grounded slowly to third and was thrown out by a quarter-step. He seems a bit slower this year than last. Back still bothering him? Max Muncy grounded into the shift, with the shortstop throwing him out. Justin Turner popped to second. He’s slumping.

Score after one: Dodgers 0, Diamondbacks 0

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Cody Bellinger, Zach McKinstry to begin minor league rehab stints Friday

Cody Bellinger
Cody Bellinger
(Associated Press)

Center fielder Cody Bellinger and utility man Zach McKinstry will begin minor league rehabilitation stints with triple-A Oklahoma City on Friday, moving both Dodgers player closer to a return from significant injuries.

Bellinger, the National League most valuable player in 2019, suffered a hairline fracture of his left fibula when Oakland reliever Revmin Guduan stepped on his calf in a race to first base in the ninth inning of a 10-3 Dodgers win on April 5. The infield hit will cost Bellinger at least seven weeks of his 2021 season.

McKinstry was batting .296 (16 for 54) with an .883 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, three homers, five doubles and 14 RBIs in 17 games when he suffered a right oblique strain on April 21.

Oklahoma City began a six-game series at Albuquerque on Thursday night. Manager Dave Roberts said he wasn’t sure how long the rehab stints would last, but he has maintained for the last week or two that McKinstry was further along in his recovery than Bellinger.

“They’re both ready to go; I think they’re both bored with the rehab and want to get out and play,” Roberts said Thursday. “We’ll just kind of see how it goes, taking at-bats, seeing how they recover being on their feet, and we’ll kind of read and react then.”

Bellinger’s potent left-handed bat would provide a huge boost to an offense that will be out star shortstop Corey Seager (broken right hand) for at least a month.

But Roberts cautioned Dodgers fans that it’s not a given that Bellinger, who hit .305 with a 1.035 OPS, 47 homers and 115 RBIs in 2019 and .239 with a .789 OPS, 12 homers and 30 RBIs in 56 games in 2020, will immediately regain his MVP form.

“That’s something that we as an organization are very mindful of,” Roberts said. “It’s easy to pencil him in and expect a .900 OPS, but it just doesn’t happen like that. Cody needs to go play and feel good and take competitive at-bats and make sure his timing is right, and when that time comes, he’ll be ready to help us.”

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David Price to start “bullpen game” for Dodgers vs. D-Backs

David Price throws to a Cleveland Indians.
David Price
(Associated Press)

Veteran left-hander David Price will start a “bullpen game” on Thursday night for the Dodgers, who are looking to complete a four-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks in Chavez Ravine ahead of their three-game weekend series at National League West rival San Francisco.

Price suffered a Grade 2 strain of his right hamstring on April 25 and went on the injured list. He was activated on Monday and needed only seven pitches to retire the Diamondbacks in order in one inning of work in his first game back Tuesday night.

Rookie right-hander Edwin Uceta, who allowed three unearned runs and four hits in three innings of Sunday’s 3-2 loss to Miami, is expected to pitch several innings as the “bulk” man for the Dodgers, who have won seven of eight games. Right-hander Merrill Kelly is scheduled to start for Arizona.

DODGERS LINEUP

RF Mookie Betts

2B Max Muncy

3B Justin Turner

C Will Smith

CF Chris Taylor

1B Albert Pujols

LF Yoshi Tsutsugo

SS Gavin Lux

LHP David Price

DIAMONDBACKS LINEUP

1B Pavin Smith

CF Ketel Marte

SS Josh Rojas

3B Eduardo Escobar

RF Josh Reddick

LF David Peralta

2B Domingo Leyba

C Stephen Vogt

RHP Merrill Kelly

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Dodgers win, 4-2

The Dodgers won’t earn any style points for the three-run, eighth-inning rally that propelled them to a 4-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks in Chavez Ravine on Wednesday night.

It was an ugly half-inning that featured two free passes, a cheap hit and a game-turning defensive gaffe, and the Dodgers didn’t even nail the dismount — the rally ended with a double-play grounder.

But the Dodgers aren’t about to complain, not after Clayton Kershaw gave them a chance to win with a solid six-inning, two-run, two-hit, eight-strikeout effort and the Diamondbacks gifted them their seventh victory in the past eight games.

The Dodgers, fresh off the frustration of failing to score after putting runners on first and third with one out in the sixth, trailed 2-1 when Chris Taylor opened the seventh with a walk off reliever Taylor Clarke, and Gavin Lux walked off left-hander Joe Mantiply.

Pinch-hitter Albert Pujols followed with a 185-foot bloop into shallow right field that nicked off the glove of first baseman Pavin Smith, who nearly made a running, over-the-shoulder catch. The hit loaded the bases.

Austin Barnes struck out, and pinch-hitter Will Smith sent a sinking liner toward the right-field line. Arizona’s Josh Rojas got to the ball, but as he positioned himself for a possible catch and throw home, the ball went off his glove for an error that allowed two runs to score for a 3-2 Dodgers lead.

Mookie Betts followed with an RBI ground-rule double to right-center for a 4-1 lead. Max Muncy was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but reliever Stefan Crichton got Justin Turner to bounce into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play.

Read more > > >

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We go to the ninth, 4-2 Dodgers

Diamondbacks: Left-hander Victor Gonzalez now pitching for the Dodgers. Betts to right field. Peters to center. Vogt walked on four pitches. Ketel Marte, batting for Crichton, grounded into a 5-4-3 double play. The Diamondbacks asked for a review, and it turns out Marte was safe at first. So, runner at first, one out. Smith hit a grounder up the first-base line. Muncy had to race up to pick up the grounder and throw to Taylor, who raced over from second to catch the ball and tag the bag at the same time (Gonzalez had run over to the ball to field it). A great play that was made to look easy. Locastro hit a looper to short that was caught by Lux for the third out.

Dodgers: Left-hander Caleb Smith now pitching for the Diamondbacks. Tsutsugo struck out swinging. Taylor flied to center. Lux singled to right. Peters walked on five pitches. Barnes struck out swinging.

Score after eight: Dodgers 4, Diamondbacks 2

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Dodgers take 4-2 lead in bottom of seventh

Diamondbacks: Right-hander Joe Kelly now pitching for the Dodgers. Young grounded to short. Peralta struck out swinging.

Dodgers: Taylor walked on five pitches. With left-handers coming up, the Diamondbacks turn to a left-handed pitcher, Joe Mantiply. Lux walked on five pitches. Albert Pujols, batting for Beaty, hit a little pop fly behind first, Smith ran out and it ticked off the end of his glove for a single to load the bases. The runners had to hold up in case Smith caught it. Barnes struck out swinging. One out, bases loaded.

Will Smith, batting for Kelly, hit a liner to right. Right fielder Rojas was looking at Taylor at third and took his eye off the ball. It bounced of his glove for an error, allowing Taylor and Lux to score and give the Dodgers a 3-2 lead. Smith gets credit for a sacrifice fly and no at-bat. DJ Peters ran for Pujols. Betts then hit a ground-rule double to right-center, scoring Peters. Second and third, one out. Muncy was hit by a pitch to load the bases. That’s it for Mantiply, who was let down by his defense. Right-hander Stefan Crichton comes in to pitch.

Turner grounded into a 5-4-3 double play.

Score after seven: Dodgers 4, Diamondbacks 2

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It’s 2-1 Diamondbacks after six innings

Diamondbacks: Locastro struck out swinging. Rojas struck out looking. Escobar popped to short. Through six innings, Kershaw has given up two runs, two hits, walked one and struck out eight. He made 83 pitches, 57 for strikes.

Dodgers: And that’s it for Kershaw, as Luke Raley hits for him and singles sharply to right. Betts flied to center. Muncy singled to right, Raley to third. Right-hander Taylor Clarke now pitching for the Diamondbacks. First and third, one out. Turner popped to shallow left. Muncy stole second. Tsutsugo, who drove in the only Dodger run so far, grounded to second.

Score after six: Diamondbacks 2, Dodgers 1

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Diamondbacks 2, Dodgers 1 after five innings

Diamondbacks: Ahmed hit a drive off the top of the fence in center. Betts tried to make a leaping catch but missed. Excellent attempt. Vogt grounded to second, Ahmed to third. Peacock laid down a bunt that Kershaw fielded. He looked the runner back to third and threw to first. Peacock, though, was running well inside the first-base line and the ball hit him in the left. Ahmed ran home and Peacock went to second. However, the plate umpire called Peacock out for running inside the line, making Ahmed return to third. No run scores. Arizona manager Torey Lovullo decided to argue for some reason and was tossed from the game. Smith struck out swinging.

Dodgers: Lux hit a bouncer to first. Smith tried to Olé the ball and it clanked off his glove for an error. Beaty grounded into a 6-3 double play. Barnes struck out swinging.

Score after five: Diamondbacks 2, Dodgers 1

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It’s 2-1 Arizona as Yoshi Tsutsugo gets his first Dodger hit and RBI

Diamondbacks: Locastro hit a grounder between first and second. Taylor made a diving stop and threw him out. Rojas walked on seven pitches. Escobar homered to center. 2-0 Diamondbacks. Young struck out looking. Peralta struck out swinging, but the ball got past Barnes and Peralta reached first safely. Peralta then tried to steal second on the first pitch to Ahmed and was thrown out.

Dodgers: Betts popped to first. Muncy doubled down the right-field line. Turner struck out swinging. Tsutsugo singled to left, scoring Muncy. Tsutsugo’s first hit and RBI as a Dodger. Taylor grounded to third.

Score after four: Diamondbacks 2, Dodgers 1

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Double no-hitter through three (too soon?)

Diamondbacks: Stephen Vogt flied to left. Matt Peacock struck out swinging. Smith grounded to first.

Dodgers: Beaty flied to center. Barnes grounded to third. Kershaw flied to shallow center.

Score after three: Dodgers 0, Diamondbacks 0

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No score after two innings

Diamondbacks: Andrew Young (not the former mayor of Atlanta) struck out swinging. David Peralta hit a little nubber out front the Barnes took care of. Nick Ahmed struck out swinging.

Dodgers: Yoshi Tsutsugo grounded to second. Chris Taylor struck out swinging. Gavin Lux lined to left.

Score after two: Dodgers 0, Diamondbacks 0

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No score after one inning

Diamondbacks: Left-hander Clayton Kershaw on the mound for the Dodgers. Pavin Smith flied to left. Tim Locastro was hit by a pitch. Josh Rojas popped to second. Eduardo Escobar flied to deep left, with Tsutsugo making the catch at the fence.

Dodgers: Right-hander Matt Peacock pitching for the Diamondbacks. Mookie Betts grounded to short. Max Muncy struck out looking. Muncy argued, but it was a good call. Justin Turner flied to right.

Score after one: Dodgers 0, Diamondbacks 0

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Gavin Lux trying to extend that “unconscious” feeling in batter’s box

Gavin Lux breaks his bat on a pitch
Gavin Lux breaks his bat on a pitch
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Gavin Lux is hooked on a feeling, one that seems delightfully similar to what the hot-hitting Dodgers infielder experienced in 2019, when he tore up double-A and triple-A pitching on his way to winning Baseball America minor league player-of-the-year honors.

“You’re kind of unconscious, you’re not so worried about your mechanics, you’re just playing,” Lux said of that 2019 season, when he hit .347 with a 1.028 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, 26 homers, 25 doubles, 76 RBIs and 99 runs in 113 games for Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

“You’re not worried about the results or your stats. You’re literally going out there and playing baseball, and that’s kind of where I feel like I’m at right now, just going out and having fun playing baseball.”

Lux went from being one of the team’s worst hitters in April to its best hitter in May, entering Wednesday night’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Dodger Stadium with a .346 average (18 for 52), .923 OPS, two homers, three doubles and 12 RBIs in his previous 14 games.

The left-handed-hitting Lux prefaced his current hot streak with an 11-game skid in which he hit .057 (two for 35) with a .138 OPS, no extra-base hits, three RBIs, 15 strikeouts and one walk.

“You can tell he’s much more comfortable up there,” utility man Chris Taylor said after Lux hit a game-breaking grand slam in the seventh inning of Tuesday night’s 9-1 win. “You can tell he has more aggression in his swing and is less passive, and I think that’s when he’s at his best.”

Lux, 23, said he tinkered some with his swing mechanics, but most of his adjustments have been above the neck.

“Usually, if mechanical thoughts creep into your head while you’re hitting, it might take away from your timing, and I think that might have been happening to me a little bit earlier,” Lux said before Wednesday night’s game.

“It’s being 100% sold on your plan and approach once you get in the box. You can’t be in-between [being aggressive and passive]. It’s hard enough to hit here, and if you’re in-between, it makes it even harder.”

Lux, who moved from second base to shortstop this week after Corey Seager suffered a right-hand fracture, spent 10 days of April on the injured list because of right-wrist soreness. Once he returned, it took a week for him to start to regain the timing and rhythm that are so important to his swing.

“As I figure out pitchers and when I need to get [my timing mechanism] going, a lot of thought is with my hands,” Lux said. “My hands are almost dancing with the pitcher. … I think just being on time with the pitcher always helps.”

Lux had what is arguably the biggest hit of the season to date, a three-run, eighth-inning homer that gave the Dodgers a 6-4 come-from-behind win over Seattle on May 11. The Dodgers had lost 15 of 20 games, but the dramatic win over the Mariners sparked a 6-1 stretch for the Dodgers.

Lux hasn’t stopped hitting since, and as his confidence and comfort in the batter’s box grows, he’s been able to shed any of the negative thoughts or distractions that might have clouded his head in April.

“If I’m thinking other stuff, or if my thoughts all over the place, that takes away from the rhythm and timing of my swing,” Lux said. “Those are the biggest components of it. If that’s not right, I’m not gonna be right.”

With players like Lux, mindset is probably more important than mechanics.

“I’m all about mechanics at times, but I really believe the psyche of a player means a lot,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I think you can dig into mechanics as much as you want, but if you’re not yourself and don’t feel relaxed, it’s hard to perform, regardless.”

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Word artist Dan Duffy creates amazing portrait from 2020 World Series

In an amazing but of artistry, word artist Dan Duffy used words and numbers to create a picture of Julio Urías moment after he got the final out in the 2020 World Series. It took Duffy around 100 hours to complete, and he used the dates/scores of every game from 2020:

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Yoshi Tsutsugo to bat cleanup vs. Diamondbacks

Yoshi Tsutsugo bats in his first game with the Dodgers.
(Associated Press)

Yoshi Tsutsugo will bat cleanup in his second start for the Dodgers when left-hander Clayton Kershaw opposes Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Matt Peacock on Wednesday night in Chavez Ravine.

“He hasn’t had a lot of at-bats, but I feel [playing] back-to-back nights … and I just like this matchup,” manager Dave Roberts said. “His swing and approach sort of matches up with Peacock, and the way we structured the lineup, there’s a lot of balance and depth throughout.”

The left-handed-hitting Tsutsugo, who was acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday for a player to be named later or cash, struggled with the Rays after signing a two-year, $12-million deal before 2020.

After batting .197 (31 for 157) with a .708 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, eight homers, five doubles, 24 RBIs, 26 walks and 50 strikeouts in 26 games in 2020, Tsutsugo hit .167 (13 for 78) with .462 OPS, no homers, four doubles and five RBIs in 26 games for Tampa Bay this season.

Tsutsugo started in left field Tuesday night, walking twice and going hitless in two at-bats in a 9-1 win over Arizona.

“We believe in him as a person and a player,” Roberts said. “He can hit. His actions are real. The ball comes off the bat, and he’s a professional hitter. Last year was kind of funky for many reasons. Inconsistency of playing time, mechanics … but he’s in a good spot.

“We’re gonna keep working with him and empower him to understand what he does to make him the best hitter he can be, and we’ll go with that. My job is to get him at-bats as consistent as I can, but he’s open to any role, which is great.”

DODGERS LINEUP

CF Mookie Betts

1B Max Muncy

3B Justin Turner

LF Yoshi Tsutsugo

2B Chris Taylor

SS Gavin Lux

RF Matt Beaty

C Austin Barnes

LHP Clayton Kershaw

DIAMONDBACKS LINEUP

1B Pavin Smith

CF Tim Locastro

RF Josh Rojas

3B Eduardo Escobar

2B Andrew Young

LF David Peralta

SS Nick Ahmed

C Stephen Vogt

RHP Matt Peacock

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Dave Roberts to discuss AAPI community on MLB Network program

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and first-year Miami Marlins general manager Kim Ng will be among the featured guests on an MLB Network program examining the Asian-American and Pacific-Islander community in baseball, which will air on the network on Sunday at 5 p.m. PDT.

Co-hosted by Stephen Nelson and Adnan Virk, the 90-minute program will include MLB Network analyst Ron Darling, San Francisco Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, Texas Rangers bench coach Don Wakamatsu, Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Kolten Wong and Kansas City Royals assistant GM Jin Wong.

The panel will discuss baseball’s stand against the recent increase in violence toward the AAPI community and the importance of growing the community throughout the game.

Roberts, the son of a Japanese mother and a Black father, sent an e-mail to the entire Dodgers organization in March condemning the increasing violence and harassment against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, which was worsened by the coronavirus pandemic.

Joon Lee (ESPN), Sweeny Murti (WFAN New York), Do-Hyoung Park (MLB.com) and Jen Mac Ramos (Baseball Prospectus) will also join the program as part of a media roundtable.

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Dodgers defeat the Diamondbacks, 9-1

Yoshi Tsutsugo always wanted to play for the Dodgers. When he decided to leave Japan’s Yokohama Bay Stars for the major leagues after a decade and five All-Star seasons in 2019, he preferred them over the other teams interested in his services. It took another a year and a half, but he’s a Dodger after the roughest patch of his professional career.

The Dodgers acquired Tsutsugo from the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday for a player to be named or cash after the Rays designated him for assignment, essentially discarding him after he failed to adjust to major league pitching in 288 plate appearances.

The Dodgers expressed interest in Tsutsugo before he signed with Tampa Bay two winters ago, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. They pounced this time around because injuries have ravaged their diminished depth, prompting a series of moves along the margins since the start of the month, and they believe they can fix his offensive shortcomings.

Tsutsugo made his debut at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, starting in left field and batting seventh behind Albert Pujols in the Dodgers’ 9-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. He became the third Japanese-born position player to play for the franchise, joining his manager Dave Roberts and Norihiro Nakamura.

Gavin Lux hits a grand slam off in the seventh inning.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

The left-handed hitter walked in his first two plate appearances and finished 0 for 2. His new teammates supplied the production as the Dodgers improved to 24-18. Chris Taylor, starting at third base for the first time since 2019, went two for four with a walk and a tiebreaking, two-run home run after not starting the previous two days because of right wrist soreness. Shortstop Gavin Lux busted the game open with a grand slam on an 0-and-2 pitch with two outs in the seventh inning.

Julio Urías had exited minutes earlier after holding the Diamondbacks (18-25) to one run and three hits with eight strikeouts and no walks. He added a single at the plate. Blake Treinen relieved him in the seventh inning with two runners on base and induced a fly ball to end the inning.

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Dodgers lead 9-1 going to the ninth inning

Diamondbacks: Left-hander David Price now pitching for the Dodgers, 22 days since his last appearance. Betts to right. Muncy to first. Taylor to second. Beaty to left. Peters to center. Sheldon Neuse in the game at third base. Varsho struck out looking. Josh Vanmeter, batting for Ginkel, grounded to first. Smith lined to third.

Dodgers: Right-hander Yoan Lopez now pitching for the Diamondbacks. Betts singled to right. Muncy grounded to second, Betts to second. Taylor popped to second. Smith singled to right-center, scoring Betts. Beaty flied to left.

Score after eight: Dodgers 9, Diamondbacks 1

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Gavin Lux’s grand slam gives Dodgers an 8-1 lead after seven

Diamondbacks: Escobar singled to left. Rojas flied to left. Andrew Young struck out swinging. Peralta hit a shot that got past Taylor at third for a single, Escobar stopping at second. And that will be all for Urías. Right-hander Blake Treinen coming in to face the right-handed hitting Nick Ahmed, who drove in Arizona’s only run. Ahmed flied to right, and that ends the threat.

Dodgers: Muncy walked on five pitches. And that’s it for Alex Young. He is replaced by right-hander Kevin Ginkel. Taylor singled up the middle. First and second, nobody out. Smith walked on four pitches, loading the bases. Beaty struck out swinging. Pujols was hit in the left elbow by a pitch. DJ Peters runs for Pujols, who is in a bit of pain. I don’t believe they are running for him because of an injury, just to get some speed on the bases and to bring in a defensive replacement. Tsutsugo flied to shallow right-center. Lux hit a GRAND SLAM just over the short fence in right. It’s 8-1 Dodgers. Luke Raley, batting for Treinen, struck out looking.

Score after seven: Dodgers 8, Diamondbacks 1

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Six strong innings for Julio Urías so far

Diamondbacks: Domingo Levba, batting for Martin, struck out swinging. Smith flied to left. Locastro flied to right. Through six innings, Urías has given up one hit, one run, walked none and struck out seven. He has made 79 pitches, 58 for strikes.

Dodgers: Left-hander Alex Young now pitching for the Diamondbacks. Pujols grounded to third. Tsutsugo struck out swinging. Lux singled to left. Urías singled to right, Lux to third. Betts grounded to third, forcing Urías at second.

Score after six: Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 1

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Dodgers take 3-1 lead on Chris Taylor’s two-run homer

Diamondbacks: Peralta fouled to the catcher. Ahmed struck out swinging. Varsho lined to right.

Dodgers: Betts fouled to third. Muncy singled to center. Taylor homered to right-center off a 94-mph fastball. Smith popped to first. Beaty struck out swinging.

Score after five: Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 1

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For Yoshi Tsutsugo, a fresh start with a team he wanted to join all along

Tampa Bay Rays' Yoshi Tsutsugo bats during the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals.
Yoshi Tsutsugo with Tampa Bay in April.
(Associated Press)

Yoshi Tsutsugo always wanted to play for the Dodgers. When he decided to leave Japan’s Yokohama Bay Stars for the major leagues after a decade and five All-Star seasons in 2019, he preferred them over the other interested teams interested in his services. It took another a year and a half, but he’s a Dodger after the roughest patch of his pro career.

The Dodgers acquired Tsutsugo from the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday for a player to be named later or cash after the Rays designated him for assignment, essentially discarding him after he failed to adjust to major-league pitching in 288 plate appearances.

The Dodgers expressed interest in him before he signed with Tampa Bay two winters ago, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. They pounced this time around because injuries have ravaged their diminished depth, prompting a series of moves along the margins since the start of the month, and they believe they can fix his offensive shortcomings.

“I’m very grateful to the Rays,” Tsutsugo said. “Of course I’m disappointed I couldn’t contribute to the Rays. But now that I have a new team, I’m grateful to have another chance to play again. I’ll just do the best that I can for the team.”

The 29-year-old Tsutsugo is a left-handed hitter who will primarily play left field and third base for the Dodgers maybe with some innings at first base, filling the hole Edwin Ríos left behind when he opted for season-ending shoulder surgery last week. He was in the Dodgers’ lineup for his debut Tuesday, starting in left field and batting seventh behind Albert Pujols.

“We very much believe in the bat,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. “We still believe he can hit, and sometimes a change of scenery helps.”

Tsutsugo starred at Yokohama High School, renowned in Japan for a baseball program that produced Daisuke Matsuzaka, before becoming one of the best players in Nippon Professional Baseball, batting .285 with 205 homers in 10 seasons. But the skills haven’t translated to the major leagues yet.

Last season, he hit .197 with a .708 OPS and eight home runs in 51 games. He was even worse for Tampa Bay this year, batting .167 with a .462 on-base-plus-slugging percentage and zero homers in 26 games.

The Dodgers, however, believe they can repair Tsutsugo’s biggest flaw as a major leaguer: hitting high velocity. Tsutsugo changed his swing when he left Japan. He said he will integrate parts of his old swing but not revert to it completely.

“I’m very grateful to the Rays staff,” Tsutsugo said in Japanese. “We communicated well. I just couldn’t take good swings. It’s not like I want to go back completely. Of course, pitchers here and pitchers in Japan are different. So, I’m trying to combat that by communicating with my coaches and coming up with a different form.”

He declined to give details about the swing change other than to mention the problem has been timing. But the Rays instructed him to tone down the leg kick to help him hit high velocity. It didn’t work. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Tsutsugo became “a shell of himself.”

“Our baseball operations guys did a real great job of kind of digging in on Yoshi as the person, the ballplayer, the bat and the versatility,” Roberts said. “This is something that is going to make some news as we get going.”

The Dodgers hope the adjustments will turn the relatively minor acquisition into a big deal, the way Chris Taylor and Max Muncy’s additions have over the years. They could use the boost after a flurry of injuries have left their unimpressive depth exposed. For Tsutsugo, it’s a fresh start with the team he wanted all to join along.

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Nothing doing in the fourth, still 1-1

Diamondbacks: Escobar grounded to third. First ball hit to Taylor at third in two seasons. Rojas grounded to short. Young grounded to short.

Dodgers: Pujols grounded to short, again Ahmed throwing him out from shallow left. Tsutsugo walked on six pitches. Lux struck out swinging. Urías grounded to first.

Score after four: Dodgers 1, Diamondbacks 1

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It’s 1-1 after three innings

Diamondbacks: Corbin Martin struck out swinging. Smith fouled to the catcher. Locastro grounded to the pitcher.

Dodgers: Julio Urías struck out swinging. Betts walked on four pitches. Muncy grounded into the shift, with the third baseman, on the right side of the bag, forcing Betts at second. Man of first, two out. Taylor walked on five pitches. Smith hit a shot to short that deflected off Ahmed’s glove. A single for Smith and the bases are loaded. Beaty flied to left.

Score after three: Dodgers 1, Diamondbacks 1

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Diamondbacks tie it up in top of second

Diamondbacks: Josh Rojas, hitting .389 this month, struck out swinging. Andrew Young was hit by a pitch. David Peralta struck out swinging on a breaking ball that just slid off the table. Nick Ahmed doubled to left-center, scoring Young. Daulton Varsho struck out swinging.

Dodgers: Matt Beaty struck out looking. Albert Pujols grounded to short. The shortstop, Ahmed, was playing in shallow left. Pujols is very slow. Yoshi Tsutsugo walked on seven pitches. Gavin Lux grounded to first.

Score after two: Dodgers 1, Diamondbacks 1

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Dodgers take 1-0 lead on Mookie Betts’ leadoff home run

Diamondbacks: Left-hander Julio Urías pitching for the Dodgers. Pavin Smith lined to right. Tim Locastro struck out swinging. Eduardo Escobar flied to left.

Dodgers: Right-hander Corbin Martin pitching for the Diamondbacks. Mookie Betts homered to left-center. Max Muncy struck out swinging. Chris Taylor struck out swinging. Will Smith grounded to second.

Score after one: Dodgers 1, Diamondbacks 0

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Dodgers place Garrett Cleavinger on injured list; recall Alex Vesia

The Dodgers placed left-hander Garrett Cleavinger on the 10-day injured list with left forearm inflammation before Tuesday’s game against the Diamondbacks.

Left-hander Alex Vesia, optioned Monday, was recalled.

Acquired from the Phillies over the offseason, Cleavinger has given up six runs (three earned) in six innings across eight outings.

The 27-year-old is the 13th Dodger on the injured list. In all, 14 Dodgers have been placed on the injured list since opening day.

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Yoshi Tsutsugo to make his Dodgers debut Tuesday

Yoshi Tsutsugo warms up before batting practice prior to Monday's game between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks.
Yoshi Tsutsugo warms up before batting practice prior to Monday’s game between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

A day after Albert Pujols made his Dodgers debut, the club’s other new acquisition will make his first appearance with the team.

Yoshi Tsutsugo, acquired Saturday from the Tampa Bay Rays for cash or player to be named later, will start in left field and bat seventh against the Diamondbacks. He’ll become the third Japanese-born position player to ever play for the franchise, joining his new manager Dave Roberts and Norihiro Nakamura.

Tsutsugo, 29, was a star in Japan before signing a two-year, $12 million contract with the Rays before last season. He was a five-time NPB All-Star in 10 seasons with the Yokohama Bay Stars, batting .285 with 205 homers and 613 RBIs.

But the skills haven’t translated to the major leagues yet. Last season, he hit .197 with a .708 OPS and eight home runs in 51 games. He was even worse for Tampa Bay this year, batting .167 with a .462 on-base-plus-slugging percentage and zero homers in 26 games.

The Dodgers, however, believe they can repair Tsutsugo’s biggest flaw: hitting high velocity. Roberts said he will split time between left field, first base and third base for Los Angeles.

Elsewhere, Chris Taylor will make his first start at third base since 2019 after not starting the last two games because of right wrist soreness. Taylor hasn’t played third base yet this season but spent some time there in spring training. He’ll bat third as Justin Turner gets the day off.

DODGERS (23-18)

Mookie Betts CF
Max Muncy 2B
Chris Taylor 3B
Will Smith C
Matt Beaty RF
Albert Pujols 1B
Yoshi Tsutsugo LF
Gavin Lux SS
Julio Urías P

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Dodgers are 1-0 in the Albert Pujols era

Diamondbacks: Luke Raley in the game in left. Chris Taylor in the game at second. Muncy moves to first. Pujols out of the game. Vogt flied to center. Ahmed walked on six pitches. Locastro hit it into the hole in second, vacated by the shift, for a single. First and second, one out. Pitching coach Mark Prior comes out to talk to Jansen. Young grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.

Final score: Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 1

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In his fourth at-bat, Albert Pujols fouls to right

In his fourth at-bat with the Dodgers, Albert Pujols faced right-hander Taylor Clarke.

First pitch: Pujols hit a fly ball down the right-field line that Josh Rojas ran down in foul territory.

It appears Pujols will end his first game one for four with an important RBI.

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Dodgers lead 3-1 going into the ninth

Diamondbacks: Left-hander Victor Gonzalez now pitching for the Dodgers. Andrew Young is hitting for the pitcher. He is seven for 18 with four homers this season. Why wasn’t he starting? Young flied to center. Smith walked on six pitches. Rojas, who has the only hit for the Diamondbacks, singled to third. First and second, one out. Escobar singled to left, Smith scoring, Rojas to second. Peralta hit a grounded up the middle. Lux snagged it and stepped on second for the out, but the throw to first was too late for the double play. They were lucky the ball didn’t take a bad hop off of second base and past Lux. Kenley Jansen comes into the game to replace Gonzalez and try for a four-out save.

Leyba hit against the shift, grounding a ball to where the shortstop used to be. Turner raced over, grabbed it and threw him out on the run.

Dodgers: Right-hander Taylor Clarke now pitching. Pujols fouled to right. Smith doubled to left-center. Matt Beaty, batting for Neuse, grounded to first, Smith to third. Lux singled to right, Smith scoring. Important insurance run. DJ Peters was walked intentionally for the second time tonight to bring Kenley Jansen to the plate. Jansen struck out swinging.

Score after eight: Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 1

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Walker Buehler gives up one hit in seven innings, Dodgers lead 2-0

Diamondbacks: Vogt flied to deep right. Ahmed lined to left-center. Locastro fouled to right, with Betts running into the short wall to make the catch. He is fine. Buehler gave up one hit in seven innings, walking four and striking out seven.

Dodgers: Left-hander Joe Mantiply now pitching for the Diamondbacks. And the law that says if you make a great defensive play you must lead off the next inning comes into play, as Betts leads off the bottom of the seventh by striking out looking. Turner flied to right. Muncy struck out swinging.

Score after seven: Dodgers 2, Diamondbacks 0

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Score after six: Dodgers 2, Diamondbacks 0

Diamondbacks: Escobar flied to left. Peralta struck out swinging. Leyba flied to center. Five pitches, three outs. Economical.

Dodgers: Pujols struck out looking. Smith flied to center. Neuse walked on seven pitches. Lux doubled to right-center. Peters was walked intentionally, bring up Buehler with the bases loaded and two out. He struck out swinging.

Score after six: Dodgers 2, Diamondbacks 0

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In his third at-bat with the Dodgers, Albert Pujols strikes out

Albert Pujols led off the bottom of the sixth inning against left-hander Caleb Smith.

First pitch: 80-mph curve for a ball

Second pitch: 83-mph changeup for a strike looking.

Third pitch: 92-mph four-seam fastball for a foul strike.

Fourth pitch: 85-mph slider fouled off.

Fifth pitch: 93-mph four-seam fastball that caught the inside edge for strike three.

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Dodgers 2, Diamondbacks 0 after five innings

Diamondbacks: Bumgarner struck out looking. Smith grounded to second. Rojas grounded to short.

Dodgers: Left-hander Caleb Smith now pitching for the Diamondbacks. Betts flied to center. Turner flied to deep right. Muncy grounded to first.

Score after five: Dodgers 2, Diamondbacks 0

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Still 2-0 Dodgers after four

Diamondbacks: First, and most important, speaking as the guy who does these live blogs, team nicknames should not be allowed to be over seven letter. Having to constantly type out Diamondbacks is too much. By the time I’m done, the inning is over. Anyway, Escobar struck out looking. Peralta walked on seven pitches. Leyba walked on five pitches. You have to wonder if Buehler’s blister is bothering him. Vogt walked on four pitches. Bases loaded, one out. Nick Ahmed struck out swinging. Huge out. Locastro flied to right. Buehler has made 74 pitches through four innings.

Dodgers: Neuse struck out looking. Lux walked. Peters struck out swinging. Buehler grounded to first.

Score after four: Dodgers 2, Diamondbacks 0

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Dodgers take 2-0 lead on Albert Pujols’ RBI single

Diamondbacks: Former Dodger Tim Locastro flied to right. Locastro played for the Dodgers from 2017-18, appearing in 21 games and hitting .167. He is fast, and has stolen 30 bases in his career, only being caught once. Madison Bumgarner walked on six pitches. Smith popped to short. Rojas lined to left.

Dodgers: Walker Buehler struck out looking. Betts walked on five pitches. Turner, after falling behind 0-2, walked on the 10th pitch of the at-bat. Muncy grounded to third. The throw to second was high, so Arizona couldn’t turn the double play. Pujols singled to center for his first RBI as a Dodger. With runners on first and second and two out, Smith grounded to short. Bumgarner has made 63 pitches through three innings.

Score after three: Dodgers 2, Diamondbacks 0

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Albert Pujols gets his first hit and first RBI with the Dodgers

Albert Pujols came to the plate in the third inning with runners on first and third and two out.

First pitch: Four-seam fastball at 91 mph for a strike.

Second pitch: 80-mph curve for a strike

Third pitch: Hit an 87-mph cutter up the middle for his first hit and RBI as a Dodger.

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Will Smith’s homer gives Dodgers a 1-0 lead

Diamondbacks: Domingo Leyba flied to left. Stephen Vogt lined to center. Nick Ahmed struck out swinging.

Dodgers: Will Smith homered to left. 1-0 Dodgers. Go get it out of the ocean, Bumgarner. Oh, wait. Sheldon Neuse struck out swinging. Gavin Lux flied to deep right-center. DJ Peters struck out swinging. We had a DJ Peters work at my high school prom. He played some good music. Probably not the same guy.

Score after two: Dodgers 1, Diamondbacks 0

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Here’s how Albert Pujols’ first at-bat went

Albert Pujols made his first at-bat for the Dodgers and got it over with in a hurry.

With Max Muncy at first after a two-out walk, Pujols hit the first pitch, an 88-mph cutter, to left-center. Some fans in the stadium saw the ball with their heart instead of their eyes, hoping it was a homer, but center fielder settled under it for an out.

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No score after one inning

Diamondbacks: Right-hander Walker Buehler pitching for the Dodgers. Perhaps I’m crazy, but it seems the crowd is a little more fired up tonight. I guess signing a Hall of Famer will do that. Pavin Smith struck out looking. Josh Rojas reached on an infield single. Eduardo Escobar struck out looking. David Peralta lined to short.

Dodgers: Mookie Betts fouled to third. Justin Turner popped to short. Max Muncy walked. Albert Pujols flied to left-center.

Score after one: Dodgers 0, Diamondbacks 0

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Dodgers activate David Price, option Mitch White

FILE - In this Friday, March 12, 2021, file photo, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher David Price throws to a Cleveland Indians.
Dodgers pitcher David Price delivers during a spring training game against the Cleveland Indians in March.
(Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)

The Dodgers activated left-hander David Price from the injured list Monday, giving them a third reinforcement ahead of their series opener against the Diamondbacks. Right-hander Mitch White was optioned to triple-A Oklahoma City.

Price’s reinstatement came after the Dodgers added Albert Pujols and Yoshi Tsutsugo to the roster.

Price was placed on the injured list with a strained left hamstring April 26. He missed 17 games. He returns as he started the season, as a reliever, though he is expected to log more one-inning outings more often rather than multiple innings every few days.

“I think that the guys in the ‘pen couldn’t be happier to have one of the elder statesmen back in the pen and he’s available tonight,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

The 35-year-old Price gave up seven runs, six earned, in 9 2/3 innings across seven relief appearances. He suffered the hamstring injury during his one-inning outing against the Padres on April 25. He surrendered two runs, one earned, on three hits that day. Before that, he had tossed five scoreless innings in his previous four outings.

White, 25, is headed back to the minors after yielding one earned run across 7 2/3 innings in seven relief outings.

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Dodgers believe they can extract more out of Yoshi Tsutsugo’s bat

Tampa Bay Rays' Yoshi Tsutsugo bats during the first inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals.
Yoshi Tsutsugo bats during a game between the Tampa Bay Rays and Kansas City Royals on April 21.
(Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)

The knock on Yoshi Tsutsugo is that he has struggled against high velocity since coming to the major leagues from Japan two winters ago, but the Dodgers are confident their hitting coaches can get the utility player’s bat up to speed.

“This is a really good acquisition for the Dodgers,” manager Dave Roberts said of Tsutsugo, who was acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday for a player to be named later or cash. “Yoshi hasn’t really had any traction here in the states, but this is a professional ballplayer.

“Our baseball operations guys did a real great job of kind of digging in on Yoshi as the person, the ballplayer, the bat and the versatility. This is something that is going to make some news as we get going. For me, I’m just happy to have him here. It just adds to our depth.”

The left-handed-hitting Tsutsugo, 29, is expected to play some left field, third base and first base, filling a role that Edwin Ríos had before Ríos decided to undergo season-ending right-shoulder surgery.

Corey Seager will miss at least a month because of a hand fracture, and that does not bode well for a Dodgers team that leans heavily on its stars.

The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Tsutsugo, who signed a two-year, $12-million deal with Tampa Bay before 2020, hit .167 (13 for 78) with .462 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, no homers, four doubles and five RBIs in 26 games this season.

Tsutsugo had a better 2020 season, batting .197 (31 for 157) with a .708 OPS, eight homers, five doubles, 24 RBIs, 26 walks and 50 strikeouts in 26 games. Before coming the U.S. he was a five-time All-Star in the Nippon Professional Baseball League, where he hit .285 with 205 homers and 613 RBIs in 10 seasons.

“We really liked Yoshi’s bat when he was in Japan, and had we had a need that offseason for the positions he played, we very easily could have been involved in that process,” said Andrew Friedman, Dodgers president of baseball operations. “We very much believe in the bat. We still believe he can hit, and sometimes a change of scenery helps.

“We’ve been on the other side of that, where guys have left here and gone on to success. He’ll get with our hitting guys and get to work. At his core, we believe he is a really good hitter. How long that will take to unlock, we’re not sure, but from all the digging we’ve done, we feel very confident that he’s gonna work and do everything in his power to get there.”

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Hall of Famers who spent a brief amount of time with the Dodgers

The Dodgers have signed future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols to a contract for the remainder of the season, which brings to mind other Hall of Famers since 1901 who spent a brief period of time with the team near the end of their careers. A look:

Dave Bancroft (with Dodgers 1928-29): considered one of the best fielding shortstops of his era, and a good hitter, Bancroft had two subpar seasons with Brooklyn. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1971.

Jim Bunning (1969): He went 3-1 with a 3.36 ERA in nine start with the team, finished his career with 224 wins and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1996.

Gary Carter (1991): Spent his penultimate season as the backup catcher to Mike Scioscia, hitting .246 with six homers. Elected to the Hall of Fame in 2003.

Kiki Cuyler (1938): Outfielder spent his final season with Brooklyn, hitting .273 with 34 walks in 82 games. Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1968.

Rickey Henderson (2003): Best leadoff hitter of all time spent his final 30 games with L.A., hitting .208 and stealing three bases. Elected to Hall of Fame in 2009.

Waite Hoyt (1932, 1937-38): Made his final 20 starts with the Dodgers, going 7-10. Was a stalwart with the great Yankees teams of the 1920s. Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1969.

Hughie Jennings (1903): Shortstop had his best seasons in the 1890s, but did have 17 at-bats with the Dodgers in 1903. Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1945.

George “Highpockets” Kelly (1932): After he spent a season in the minors, the Dodgers acquired Kelly to fill in for their injured first baseman, Del Bissonette. He hit .243 with four homers and then returned to the minors. Finished with a .297 career batting average and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1973.

Tony Lazzeri (1939): Longtime Yankees shortstop spent part of his final season with Brooklyn, hitting .282 in 14 games. Elected to Hall in 1991.

Freddie Lindstrom (1936): Third baseman spent his final season as an outfielder with Brooklyn, playing in 26 games. Elected to Hall in 1976.

Greg Maddux (2006, 2008): Made the final seven starts of his career with the Dodgers. Won 355 games overall and was elected to Hall in 2014.

Heinie Manush (1938): Outfielder spent 17 games with Brooklyn in his next-to-last season. Elected to Hall in 1964.

Juan Marichal (1975): Controversial signing 10 years after he hit Dodgers catcher John Roseboro in the head with a bat. Went 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA and retired. Elected to Hall in 1983.

Eddie Murray (1989-91, 1997): Sounds familiar. Aging first baseman is released by the Angels and signed by the Dodgers to pinch-hit and play first base. Had seven at-bats with the team, getting two hits. Elected to Hall of Fame in 2003.

Frank Robinson (1972): One of the greatest of all-time hit .251 in 103 games. Elected to the Hall in 1982.

Jim Thome (2009): Acquired at the trade deadline to add some power off the bench, he went four for 17 with no extra-base hits. Finished his career with 612 homers and elected to the Hall in 2018.

Lloyd Waner (1944): The .316 lifetime hitter had 14 at-bats with Brooklyn. Elected to Hall in 1967.

Paul Waner (1943-44): Lloyd’s brother spent a bit more time with Brooklyn, hitting .302 in 165 games. A .333 lifetime hitter, he was elected to the Hall in 1952.

Hoyt Wilhelm (1971-72): The knuckleballer was 49 when he finally called it quits after posting a 3.14 ERA and four saves with L.A. Elected to the Hall in 1985.

Special mention

Babe Ruth: Though he never played for the team, Ruth was a coach for the Dodgers in 1938.

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Albert Pujols to bat cleanup in Dodgers debut

Angels first baseman Albert Pujols hits against the Astros.
Newly signed Dodgers first baseman Albert Pujols will bat in the cleanup spot Monday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
(Carmen Mandato / Getty Images)

Albert Pujols will start at first base and bat fourth in his Dodgers debut Monday against the Diamondbacks. Pujols was officially signed for the remainder of the season Monday after being released by the Angels last week.

Pujols is expected to be used primarily as a pinch-hitter, but he will make starts against left-handed pitchers. Madison Bumgarner, a left-hander, is starting for the Diamondbacks on Monday.

Max Muncy, the Dodgers’ starting first baseman this season, will move to second base with Gavin Lux shifting to shortstop after Corey Seager broke his right hand over the weekend.

Chris Taylor is available off the bench after being scratched from the lineup Sunday because of right wrist soreness.

Without Taylor and AJ Pollock, who was placed on the injured list Saturday with a strained hamstring, the Dodgers will have Sheldon Neuse start in left field for the first time this season over Matt Beaty because Neuse is a right-handed hitter and Beaty is left-handed. Neuse, however, is 2 for 22 against lefties this season.

DODGERS (22-18)
Mookie Betts CF
Justin Turner 3B
Max Muncy 2B
Albert Pujols 1B
Will Smith C
Sheldon Neuse LF
Gavin Lux SS
DJ Peters CF
Walker Buehler P

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Albert Pujols and Orel Hershiser share one thing in common for the Dodgers: No. 55

Rick Dempsey lifts Orel Hershiser after winning the 1988 World Series. Franklin Stubbs is ready to join.
(Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Los Angeles Times)

The Dodgers officially announced the signing of Albert Pujols on Monday, and the future Hall of Famer will wear No. 55, instead of his usual No. 5, currently worn by Corey Seager.

Of course, the most famous Dodger to wear No. 55 currently sits in the team’s broadcast booth: Orel Hershiser.

Other Dodgers to wear No. 55:

Russell Martin (2006-10, 2019)

Joe Blanton (2016)

Mat Latos (2015)

Roberto Hernandez (2014)

Ramon Hernandez (2013)

Skip Schumaker (2013)

Matt Guerrier (2011-2013)

Giovanni Carrara (2001-02, 2004-05)

Koyie Hill (2003)

Orel Hershiser (1983-94, 2000)

Onan Masaoka (1999)

Rick Gorecki (1997)

Wayne Kirby (1996)

Sergio Robles (1976)

Ron Fairly (1958)

Jackie Collum (1957-1958)

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Albert Pujols disputes Angels’ stance that he didn’t want to be a bench player

Albert Pujols bats during a game for the Angels.
The Dodgers announced on Monday they have signed former Angels slugger Albert Pujols.
(Matt York / Associated Press)

The Dodgers announced the signing of Albert Pujols on Monday morning, days after coming to terms with the future Hall of Famer. Pujols will be in uniform, wearing No. 55, against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium on Monday night.

The Angels unexpectedly designated Pujols for assignment May 6 and released him Thursday after clearing waivers. He batted .198 with a .622 on-base-plus-slugging percentage and five home runs in 92 plate appearances this season. He was seven for his last 43 before parting ways with the Angels.

The Dodgers will pay him approximately $430,000 — the prorated share of the $570,500 league minimum. The Angels remain responsible for the rest of his $30-million salary in the final year of his 10-year, $240-million contract.

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Betting lines and odds for Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks on Monday

Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner bats against the Miami Marlins on Friday.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

The Dodgers start a four-game home series Monday against the Diamondbacks at 7:10 p.m. PDT before heading to San Francisco to face the division-leading Giants.

The Dodgers (22-18 after a 13-2 start) are coming off a 3-2 loss to the Marlins on Sunday but won the series 2-1 after sweeping the Mariners 2-0 in the middle of last week. The Dodgers are -350 favorites (risk $350 to profit $100) to win this series, though they’d have to go 3-1 for the series win (2-2 would be a push and a refund).

L.A. opened around -180 in tonight’s game though it’s already been bet up to -210 as of 10 a.m. PDT. Walker Buehler (1-0, 3.45 ERA, 0.90 WHIP) gets the start. He has just the one decision, but he’s the only Dodger starter to go at least six innings every time he’s taken the mound and the Dodgers are 4-3 in those seven starts.

Dodgers line for May 17, 2021.
(VSiN)

The Dodgers are always a popular bet in straight-up money-line parlays with other favorites (such as the Yankees, who are -280 at Texas, and the Padres, who are -200 vs. the Rockies). Another popular way to bet the Dodgers is -1.5 on the run line, which is around even money, though you need them to win by at least two runs to cover the spread.

However, even though the Diamondbacks are only 18-23 and falling out of the NL West race, they are starting longtime nemesis Madison Bumgarner, who has a lifetime 2.74 ERA against the Dodgers.

With the strong pitching matchup, the Over/Under is set at seven runs.

VSiN, the Sports Betting Network, offers more expert sports betting content in a free daily email at VSiN.com/email.

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ICYMI: Corey Seager out at least a month, joining 12 Dodgers teammates on injured list before loss

Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager, left, is attended to by a team trainer while talking to manager Dave Roberts.
Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager, left, is attended to by a team trainer while talking to manager Dave Roberts after being hit by a pitch on his right hand during Saturday’s game against the Miami Marlins.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

The Dodgers, as they have all season at Dodger Stadium, were introduced before their 3-2 loss to the Miami Marlins on Sunday as the World champion Los Angeles Dodgers. A more accurate description would be what’s left of the World champion team, because it’s not much at the moment.

Corey Seager officially became the 13th Dodger on the injured list Sunday morning, joining Scott Alexander, Cody Bellinger, Tony Gonsolin, Brusdar Graterol, Corey Knebel, Dustin May, Zach McKinstry, AJ Pollock, David Price, Edwin Ríos, Caleb Ferguson and Tommy Kahnle.

Ferguson and Kahnle won’t pitch in 2021 after undergoing Tommy John surgery last summer. May (elbow) and Ríos (shoulder) won’t return this season. The rest of the players’ returns range from days to months away.

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Column: Corey Seager’s injury threatens to expose the Dodgers’ roster weaknesses

Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run.
Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run against the Seattle Mariners on April 19.
(Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)

Corey Seager could be down a while.

Maybe around 52 days.

That’s the average time missed by players who fractured their metacarpals when struck by pitches, according to a study published by the American Journal of Sports Medicine in 2018.

The research, conducted by Minnesota Twins physician Christopher Camp and other sports medicine professionals, tracked hit-by-pitch injuries in major and minor league baseball from 2011-2015.

“The floor,” manager Dave Roberts said, “is four weeks.”

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