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Category: Nathan Eovaldi

Dodgers farm system producing talent and titles

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By far, the main purpose of the farm system is to produce future major leaguers.

It’s not to win weekly player awards, or contribute to the Topps minor league organization of the year or even to win league titles.

It’s to produce future members of the Los Angeles Dodgers. To teach, develop and polish raw skills into productive major leaguers. Homegrown talent is better than that which is traded  for or signed  to free-agent contracts. It is way cheaper, which helps all the way down the line. Plus, it adds a sense of organizational continuity.

That said, there has to be a tip of the cap to double-A Chattanooga and Class-A Rancho Cucamonga for capturing division crowns in the second half.

Particularly noteworthy are the Chattanooga Lookouts, who had their top two starters –- Rubby De La Rosa and Nathan Eovaldi –- plucked from their ranks to help the Dodgers. Yet after going 35-35 in the first half, they are 42-27 in the second.

The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, in their first year of affiliation with the Dodgers, have set a single-season record with 79 victories. They complete their regular season Monday.

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-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers starter Rubby De La Rosa. Credit: Kirby Lee / U.S. Presswire

Nathan Eovaldi and the kids lead Dodgers to sixth straight win, 2-1

Nathan3 Nathan Eovaldi wasn’t supposed to be here. Not in the major leagues, not playing with the big boys.

Not this season, anyway. Probably not even next season.

But a series of injuries to Dodgers starting pitchers caused them to dip into the ranks of double-A Chattanooga for the second time this season and call on Eovaldi. It wasn’t exactly a move of desperation, but it was in the neighborhood.

Only in his sixth and final start of the season Saturday, Eovaldi has at least put his name in the conversation for the Dodgers’ rotation for next year.

Eovaldi struggled with his control, but the 21-year-old showed poise in containing the damage, giving up only one run in his six innings of an eventual 2-1, 10-inning victory for the Dodgers.

It made for the Dodgers’ sixth consecutive victory, a season high. The suddenly hot club has won 11 of its last 12 games and pulled within two games of .500 (68-70) for the first time since May 14.

They won it in the 10th inning after another promising Dodger, shortstop Dee Gordon, led off with a double. Anyway, his speed turned what looked like a single into a double. James Loney’s bunt sacrificed him to third, and after an intentional walk to Matt Kemp, Juan Rivera’s fly to center field was deep enough to bring home Gordon.

A final Dodger youngster, rookie Javy Guerra, pitched a scoreless bottom of the 10th for his 15th save in 16 opportunities.

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Dodgers call up Dana Eveland to start Thursday against Pirates

Dana-eveland_350 Perseverance has paid off for left-hander Dana Eveland.

At least, if you consider a late-season start a payoff.

Eveland has spent most of the last six seasons shuttling between the major and minor leagues, and now he’s shuttling again.

Eveland will start for the Dodgers on Thursday afternoon in their makeup game in Pittsburgh.

Eveland, 27, has appeared in 95 games with five clubs in the majors over the last six seasons. Last year he was with Toronto and Pittsburgh.

Signed as a free agent by the Dodgers in December, he has spent this season at triple-A Albuquerque, where he was the Isotopes’ most effective starter (12-8, 4.38 ERA, 1.38 WHIP).

For now, the addition of Eveland means the Dodgers will use a six-man rotation. It’s only scheduled to happen once, with rookie Nathan Eovaldi likely starting his final game of the season Saturday in Atlanta.

The Dodgers are trying to be cautious with the young right-hander’s arm. In five starts for the Dodgers, he has thrown 26 innings. At double-A Chattanooga, he threw 103 innings. The overall total of 129 innings easily exceeds his previous career high of 98-2/3 innings, set last year.

Rosters can be expanded Thursday, but for Manager Don Mattingly said only one other player is expected to join them in Pittsburgh. Since the player had yet to be told, he would not reveal the name, but said it was an infielder who has been up previously this season, which pretty much points to Ivan De Jesus Jr.

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-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dana Eveland. Credit: Christian Petersen / Getty Images

Dodgers walk the line, not over it in 7-6 loss to Rockies

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The Dodgers were hoping for a walkover, but it wasn’t to be.

The Rockies issued six walks Sunday, and it still wasn’t enough. The Dodgers’ five-game winning streak snapped with a 7-6 loss to Colorado.

In another hot afternoon game, the Rockies scored five times in the first against 21-year-old Nathan Eovaldi and made it hold up.

Eovaldi, who may have only one more start as the Dodgers seek to preserve the rookie’s arm, threw less than five innings for the first time in his five career starts.

This time Eovaldi (1-2) went four innings, allowing the five runs on six hits and a pair of walks.

Jhoulys Chacin, who entered the game with a career 1.98 ERA against the Dodgers, was hardly as sharp as the Dodgers have seen him, but he made the early support hold up to raise his record to 11-10.

The Rockies scored all five of their runs in the first inning. Troy Tulowitzki singled in the first run, and then with the bases loaded, Kevin Kouzmanoff’s blooper fell off the wrist of an awkwardly diving Trent Oeltjen in right to clear the bases.

Oeltjen started in right for Andre Ethier, after he complained of knee pain in a Sunday column by The Times’ T.J. Simers.

Eliezer Alfonzo singled in Kouzmanoff for the fifth run.

The Dodgers scored single runs in the first on a Justin Sellers double and in the third on doubles by Sellers and James Loney.

The Rockies got the two back against Blake Hawksworth in the fifth on doubles by Carlos Gonzales and Seth Smith, and then a single by Kouzmanoff.

The Dodgers scored twice in the sixth without benefit of a hit or an error -- after Chacin walked the bases loaded -- on a groundout and sacrifice fly. They added two more in the seventh after Matt Kemp walked, stole his 34th base and scored on an Aaron Miles double. Oeltjen singled in Miles, but the Dodgers were left one run short.

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-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez makes a diving catch on a ball hit by Dodgers shortstop Justin Sellers in the fourth inning Sunday at Dodger Stadium. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press

Dodgers stun Cardinals with rare ninth-inning rally, 2-1

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All the stars seemed aligned against the Dodgers on Monday.

They were playing at Busch Stadium, where they had gone 3-15 since it opened in 2006. They were up against Chris Carpenter, who was 6-0 lifetime against the Dodgers. And they trailed, 1-0, heading into the ninth inning, an obstacle they had overcome once in 63 previous games.

And they won, with an improbable ninth-inning rally after former Cardinal Aaron Miles tripled in the tying run and Rod Barajas drove him home with the wining score when his grounder bounced off the glove of ex-Dodger Rafael Furcal, who threw wide of the plate.

Rookie Javy Guerra came on to close it, and the Dodgers had escaped with a 2-1 victory no one saw coming.

St. Louis’ Tony La Russa gave the Dodgers a nice assist with come curious overmanaging. Carpenter took a 1-0 lead into the ninth, having held the Dodgers to five singles -- three by James Loney.

But after he hit Juan Rivera to open the bottom of the ninth, La Russa went to the bullpen, and Carpenter did not look happy. He’s a little less happy now.

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The kid is all right, the Dodgers aren't in 3-1 loss to Brewers

Dodgers_640 The kid -- the Dodgers' newest kid -- did almost everything right. For five innings, Nathan Eovaldi held the hottest team in baseball scoreless. Held them to three hits.

But with former Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke matching him on the other end, 21-year-old Eovaldi finally cracked in the sixth. And with the way the season is unfolding for the Dodgers and the Brewers, that was enough.

Milwaukee used a two-run single by Jerry Hairston to spark a 3-1 victory over the Dodgers on Wednesday in Milwaukee, giving the Brewers their 19th win in their last 21 games. Some live volcanoes aren't that hot.

The Dodgers could not have asked more of Eovaldi, the baby-faced right-hander who was making his third major league start after being called up from double-A Chattanooga to replace another wunderkind, injured Rubby De La Rosa.

Supported by two double plays nicely turned by yet another rookie, Justin Sellers, Eovaldi matched Greinke through five highly efficient innings.

But two one-out walks wrapped around a single by Prince Fielder loaded the bases in the sixth. Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt visited the mound, but Manager Don Mattingly elected to let Eovaldi try to pitch out of the jam.

Eovaldi got Yuniesky Betancourt on a shallow fly to Matt Kemp in center and, still throwing 96 mph, got ahead of Hairston 0-2. But the veteran fouled off two pitches before knocking a high fastball up the middle for a two-run single.

It counted for Eovaldi's first major league loss. In his six innings, he gave up one run on five hits and three walks, with three strikeouts. He evened his record at 1-1 and left his earned-run average at 2.12.

Greinke went one additional inning, and it at least proved memorable for Tony Gwynn Jr. Gwynn hit his first home run of the season, a span of 274 plate appearances.

Greinke (12-4) left after seven innings, giving up one run on five hits and three walks. He struck out eight.

The Brewers scored an additional run thanks to wildness by reliever Josh Lindblom and poor defense by catcher Dioner Navarro in the bottom of the seventh. Jonathan Lucroy led off with a single and went all the way to third on a wild pitch by Lindblom that Navarro mistakenly tried to backhand.

Lucroy scored when Lindblom threw another wild pitch in the dirt that Navarro again failed to try to block.

The Dodgers' third consecutive loss to the Brewers left them 55-67 this season.

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-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Nathan Eovaldi. Credit: Scott Boehm / Getty Images

Nathan Eovaldi makes it a debut to remember in 5-3 Dodgers win

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Nothing like a first time. First time driving a car, first kiss, first game in the majors.

OK, so most will never step on a major league field. For a precious chosen few, though, it’s the memory of a lifetime.

Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, all of 21 and fresh up from double-A Chattanooga, made his debut Saturday night against Arizona.

And if it wasn’t completely perfect, it was close enough, with Eovaldi going five innings to pick up the victory in the Dodgers’ 5-3 win over the Diamondbacks.

A night that gave the Dodgers another scare when rookie shortstop Dee Gordon left the game with an injured shoulder (it is not serious) and saw catcher Rod Barajas collect three hits and drive in two runs, it was the fresh-faced Eovaldi who created the buzz.

Eovaldi was rushed to the majors when another prized right-hander from Chattanooga, Rubby De La Rosa, was lost to the Dodgers for the season with an elbow injury.

So the call went to the young Eovaldi, and he responded. He overcame one shaky inning to hold the Diamondbacks to two runs. For one night, he looked a lot like a pitcher who belonged.

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Dodgers call up Nathan Eovaldi; expected to start Saturday [Updated]

Photo: Starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi #50 of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Credit: Christian Petersen / Getty Images They’ve gone this route before, and with pretty good success, so the Dodgers decided to once again to dip into their double-A ranks for a pitcher.

According to the Chattanooga Times-Free Press, on Friday the Dodgers called up Nathan Eovaldi, a 21-year-old right-hander who is expected to start Saturday in Phoenix against the Diamondbacks.

Eovaldi was 6-5 with a 2.62 ERA in 19 starts for Chattanooga. He has 99 strikeouts and 46 walks in 103 innings with a 1.18 WHIP.

He had never pitched above Class-A ball until this season and wasn’t considered this close to the majors, until having something of a breakout season for the Lookouts. And a series of injuries to Dodgers  pitchers.

Previously the Dodgers have gone to Chattanooga to tap right-handed starter Rubby De La Rosa and current closer Javy Guerra. Reliever Josh Lindblom was also culled from the Lookouts.

It is De La Rosa’s season-ending elbow injury that has created the current opening in the rotation. The Dodgers previously called up starter John Ely from triple-A Albuquerque, but have apparently decided to give the young Eovaldi a chance and use Ely in long relief.

[Updated at 10:25 p.m.: After Friday's game, the Dodgers optioned Ely back to Albuquerque, officially purchased the contract of Eovaldi and said he would start Saturday.]

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Pitcher Nathan Eovaldi. Credit: Christian Petersen / Getty Images

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