The Los Angeles Dodgers could have the right pitcher on the mound to help them end their longest losing streak since early May.
They'll try to end a four-game slide Monday night at home when they send the surging Ricky Nolasco to face the Arizona Diamondbacks.Los Angeles (83-59) was swept over the weekend in a three-game series in Cincinnati, although it still leads second-place Arizona (72-70) by a commanding 11 games. The Dodgers, however, have missed a chance to gain ground on NL-leading Atlanta, trailing the Braves by two games in the race for home-field advantage.This is the club's longest slide since an eight-game skid May 1-10.Nolasco (12-9, 3.26 ERA) is 7-1 with a 2.27 ERA with the Dodgers, who acquired him from Miami on July 6. He is 6-0 with a 2.11 ERA in his last nine outings, yielding two runs over six innings in Tuesday's 7-4 victory at Colorado."He's been great because he's pitched well pretty much every time out," manager Don Mattingly said. "He's kind of solidified that fourth guy for us and that's where we had been searching."The right-hander, who has pitched 20 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings at home, is 7-2 with a 3.84 ERA in 10 career starts against the Diamondbacks -- 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA in two this year.Nolasco will face an Arizona team that totaled eight runs while hitting .230 in splitting four games in San Francisco to start a seven-game trip."We have not swung the bats very well at all, especially in the good situations," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "We're not in a good streak right now."Slugger Paul Goldschmidt is enduring a season-high 17-game homerless drought since hitting his 31st on Aug. 20. Goldschmidt is batting .365 with four homers and 14 RBIs in the season series, and is 2 for 8 against Nolasco.Gerardo Parra is 1 for 14 versus Nolasco while Didi Gregorius is 6 for 9 and Aaron Hill 5 for 9.Arizona will be short-handed since Cliff Pennington returned home after Sunday's 3-2, 11-inning loss to the Giants to be with his wife, who will undergo induced labor Monday. Martin Prado has missed the last two games with an illness.The Diamondbacks are 7-5 against the Dodgers this year, including a 5-1 mark at Dodger Stadium -- where they have won 15 of 20.They will start Randall Delgado (4-5, 3.69), who is 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA in his last six starts. The right-hander's lone outing against the Dodgers this year was a 6-1 loss July 8 in which he surrendered three runs and a career-high 11 hits over six innings.All of the Dodgers' losses to the Reds were by one run, but Mattingly was more satisfied after Sunday's 3-2 defeat -- the club's second straight in walk-off fashion."I was happier with our game tonight than I was the first two," the manager said. "I wasn't that excited about our focus. Tonight was better for me. Our focus was better."Adrian Gonzalez is batting a team-high .391 in the season series with nine RBIs while Carl Crawford is 5 for 33 (.152).