Thursday, April 14, 2016

Stripling eyes encore outing on home turf

Dodgers rookie Ross Stripling, who fired 7 1/3 no-hit frames in his big league debut April 7, takes the mound opposite the D-backs' Robbie Ray in Thursday night's series finale.
While Stripling was removed from Thursday's game in San Francisco against the Giants due to a high pitch count, the level of performance he displayed at least gave him confidence going forward.
"What you take away from it is, 'I can get guys out at this level,'" Stripling said. "You go in and you're so nervous and you're like, 'Man, I've never pitched at this level. Is it going to be totally different?' Then to go out and have some success, it just kind of eases your nerves a little bit to think, 'Yeah, it's not always going to go that well, but you know you can get guys out and you can make pitches in crunch situations in the big leagues -- and probably in one of the more hostile environments that a Dodgers pitcher can pitch in.'"
Stripling will be making his home debut at Dodger Stadium.
"To pitch in front of your crowd is nice, but that has its own nerves associated with it," Stripling said. "You ever pitch in here, you want to do well for your home town. At the same time, it feels like everybody typically plays better at home."
Ray is also no stranger to inconveniently high pitch counts. The 24-year-old struggled to throw into the later innings in 2015, reaching the seventh inning only four times in 23 starts.
After winning a contested fifth-starter battle in Spring Training, Ray allowed the Cubs two earned runs, fanned three and walked four over six innings in his season debut Friday. He has seen strong results against the Dodgers in the past, going 2-2 with a 2.28 ERA and 23 2/3 innings in four starts.
Three things to know about this game
• D-backs outfielder David Peralta was out of the lineup for the first time Wednesday. With the team in the midst of a stretch of 20 games without a scheduled off day, manager Chip Hale is giving his starters a day off when possible. Peralta figures to be back in the lineup Thursday night.
• Dodgers slugger Adrian Gonzalez is hitless in eight plate appearances against Ray, but with only one strikeout.
• Paul Goldschmidt's go-ahead homer in Tuesday's 4-2 win against the Dodgers was his 119th career homer but first on a 3-0 pitch.

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