MLB Baseball

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Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
LA Dodgers0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 291
Philadelphia0 0 0 0 0 1 4 1 x 680
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  W: A. Nola (12-10)   L: P. Báez (3-6)
4:05 PM PT5:05 PM MT6:05 PM CT7:05 PM ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 PM MST6:05 PM EST6:35 PM VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 PM CT, September 19, 2017
Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  Attendance: 20,145

Dodgers send Darvish to mound at Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA -- Yu Darvish was brought to Los Angeles to strengthen an already strong Dodgers staff that had Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood and Hyun-Jin Ryu pacing the team to a commanding lead in the National League West.

The Dodgers are going for it all, and they hoping Darvish can help them get there. However, in seven starts since joining the club's rotation, he has provided as many questions as answers.

With the Dodgers' magic number down to three, Darvish heads to the mound Tuesday against the Philadelphia Phillies, looking to inch Los Angeles closer to the postseason.

Darvish (9-12, 4.08 ERA overall) will oppose Philadelphia's Aaron Nola (11-10, 3.60).

The Dodgers (96-54) led 2-0 through five innings Monday with Kershaw on the mound, but the Phillies (59-91) rallied for a 4-3 victory behind Aaron Altherr's sixth-inning grand slam.

After the defeat, Los Angeles got some help from the San Diego Padres, who beat the second-place Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2.

Next, the Dodgers turn to Darvish, who followed up consecutive five-run outings by offering his best start in a Los Angeles uniform since his Aug. 4 debut. In a 4-1 win at San Francisco on Wednesday, Darvish tossed seven scoreless innings and allowed three hits. He struck out five and didn't issue a walk, crediting a simpler approach. It also helped that the Los Angeles offense scored early.

"He spun the ball really well," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "He was on the attack. Once you get a lead, it's a different mind-set for him."

The win left Darvish 3-3 with a 4.34 ERA for Los Angeles.

Darvish is making his first career appearance at Citizens Bank Park. He faced the Phillies for the first time earlier this year with the Rangers on May 16. In a 5-1 Texas win, Darvish went seven innings and allowed one run and four hits while striking out nine.

A similar effort would lower his new team's magic number.

However, standing in Darvish's way is a surprisingly hot offense and Nola, who has been the rebuilding club's best pitcher.

Nola, 24, has never faced the Dodgers. He is coming off a Wednesday outing in which he logged a career-high 11 strikeouts in seven innings during an 8-1 win over the Miami Marlins. Nola has 60 strikeouts in his past 55 2/3 innings.

The Dodgers have not lost a series in Philadelphia since 2011, the last year the Phillies were in the postseason. With three games left in Philadelphia, it is possible Los Angeles will clinch the division before returning home for a six-game homestand.

The Phillies are welcoming the role of spoiler.

"Great to start the series off of these guys," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said after the Monday win.

Mackanin started five rookies in the series opener, including pitcher Nick Pivetta. He wanted to test his young prospects against one of the league's finest.

"Everyone is full of energy, and it's a lot of fun going down the stretch," Mackanin said.

His young offense disrupted Kershaw on Monday. On Tuesday, the Phillies have a chance to make Darvish a little less comfortable as the postseason looms.

Updated September 19, 2017

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