Dodgers' Darvish pitches for home crowd vs. White Sox

LOS ANGELES -- What a day Wednesday is expected to be for Yu Darvish.

The right-handed pitcher, acquired by the Los Angeles Dodgers in a deadline deal from the Texas Rangers last month, will make his home debut at Dodger Stadium. It also is his 31st birthday.

That's a lot of emotion.

Darvish has pitched well for the Dodgers in his two road starts, going 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA. He will face the White Sox to finish the two-game series at Dodger Stadium after Los Angeles rallied for a 6-1 win Tuesday.

"I don't remember facing him this year, but we have faced him," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "Obviously, a top-notch right-hander with about 30 billion types of pitches. We'll try to see what we can do with him. We'll try to eliminate some of them and see if we can get something we can handle and try to grind him out. He's an excellent pitcher."

Darvish is 1-1 with a 5.12 ERA in three career starts against Chicago, but he has not faced the White Sox since 2013.

White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon (1-4, 4.24 ERA) will oppose Darvish. Rodon's only career start against the Dodgers came this year, when he gave up five runs on seven hits (including four homers) in 3 2/3 innings and took the loss on July 19.

Rodon, 24, is following teammate Miguel Gonzalez, who pitched a one-run gem through six innings Monday. However, the White Sox's bullpen problems continued and couldn't get a win for Gonzalez, who grew up going to Dodgers games. The game was tied game through seven innings, but the White Sox allowed a five-run eighth.

"We tried to minimize damage as much as we could," Renteria said. "Some of our guys did a nice job of doing that, keeping us in the ballgame. It was a very good ballgame going into the seventh or the eighth. We just fell short."

The White Sox (45-71) are trying to reverse their fortunes against the team with the best record in baseball.

The Dodgers (84-34) moved 50 games above .500 with their Tuesday win, and now they unveil Darvish to the home crowd.

"I'm (looking forward to it) with much anticipation," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "I try to downplay it a little bit to Yu, making his Dodger debut at home. It's a sellout crowd. There's going to be a lot of energy. I know he's excited about it. The radar gun is going to be lighting up (Wednesday).

"We expect him to go out there and compete and make pitches. He's been on the big stage. For him and for his teammates, coaches, we're excited for him to make that Dodger debut at home."

The game was not sold out as of Tuesday evening.

One play Darvish will need to slow is Tim Anderson. The Chicago shortstop hit a home run on the first pitch of the Tuesday game, and he has five of the White Sox's 11 home runs in August. He has hit four home runs in the past six games.

After the Wednesday game, the White Sox travel to Texas for a four-game series. The Dodgers, who have just eight home games this month, head on the road again as well as they fly to Detroit on Thursday. They will begin a three-game series against the Tigers in which Adrian Gonzalez (herniated lumbar disk) will return from the disabled list and play in at least one game. He last appeared for Los Angeles on June 11.
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