Poncedeleon set for second career start against Dodgers
LOS ANGELES -The Cardinals send a Southern California product Daniel Poncedeleon to the mound Tuesday in game two of their three game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers
Poncedeleon returns to the Cardinals rotation nearly a month after his dazzling MLB debut in which he no-hit the Cincinnati Reds over seven innings. He brings a 2.04 ERA over 17.2 innings into tonight's start against the Dodgers, and will replace a struggling Luke Weaver in the rotation for the time being. Weaver has a 6-11 record and 4.67 ERA in 24 starts.
The Redbirds will be hoping that move, combined with the return of Matt Adams from the Washington Nationals and the activation of Carlos Martinez from the disabled list, will propel them even higher in the National League Central standings.
They have climbed within 3.5 games of division leaders Chicago Cubs, and are just 0.5 game back of the Milwaukee Brewers for the number one Wild Card position in the NL. That gap has closed considerably of late, as the Cards are 15-4 in the month of August, the best record in the majors over that time.
Los Angeles has been trending in the opposite direction. They are 8-10 in the month of August, and only 3-7 in their last ten games.
They look to Hyun-Jin Ryu to reverse the trend. This is just his second start since returning to the Dodgers after missing three months with a groin strain. He showed no signs of rust against the Giants last Wednesday, pitching six scoreless innings.
They will need him to repeat that type of performance if they want to stop a Cardinals offense that has hit home runs in 13 consecutive games
The Dodgers will also be hoping closer Kenley Jansen can rebound after giving up two ninth-inning homers and taking the loss Monday in his first outing back from an irregular heartbeat.
LA has fallen back to third place in the NL West in since Jansen went on the DL on August 10th. They sit 2.5 games back of the Arizona Diamondbacks and two back from the Colorado Rockies.