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New Dodgers pitcher Joe Blanton makes quick transition

Right-hander makes first start with the Dodgers two days after being acquired in a trade with Philadelphia. He gives up two runs in six innings but doesn't get a decision in the club's victory.

August 06, 2012|By Jim Peltz
  • Joe Blanton made his Dodgers debut against the Chicago Cubs Sunday at Dodger Stadium.
Joe Blanton made his Dodgers debut against the Chicago Cubs Sunday at Dodger… (Lisa Blumenfeld / Getty…)

Joe Blanton said it was business as usual Sunday despite having just moved 3,000 miles to join the Dodgers.

"It's a little bit of a whirlwind," said Blanton, the pitcher who started at Dodger Stadium two days after being traded from the Philadelphia Phillies.

"I wouldn't say it was real difficult, but you're coming in trying to get all your new gear, new shoes and everything else," said the right-hander, who wears No. 56. "But other than that, the game is still the game. You still have to make pitches as you would anywhere."

Blanton (8-9) had no decision in the Dodgers' 7-6 win over the Chicago Cubs after he pitched six innings, giving up two runs and five hits.

Known for not walking many batters, Blanton walked three Cubs but also struck out five.

Blanton said he meshed well with catcher A.J. Ellis, who "did a fantastic job behind the plate [and] called a lot of good pitches. It worked really well, really smooth."

Mark Ellis looks to regain hitting stroke

It has been one month since Mark Ellis came off the disabled list after leg surgery, and the second baseman said that although "everything feels good," he acknowledged "I'm not there yet" at the plate.

"I'm seeing the ball pretty good," Ellis said. "It takes a little bit of time."

Since coming off the disabled list July 4, the veteran is batting .232 and he was 0 for 3 on Sunday. Ellis was batting .273 before he was injured May 18 while trying to turn a double play, an injury that required immediate surgery.

Manager Don Mattingly said Ellis, 35, has "given us back what we need, that piece in the middle of the field that makes all the plays at second base."

Asked whether had any reservations about continuing to bat Ellis second in the lineup, Mattingly replied, "No, not right now, not at all."

"He's the kind of guy who's going to sacrifice at-bats, be able to take a pitch and let a guy run" in front of him, typically the leadoff batter, Shane Victorino, "and he's just going to get better," Mattingly said.

Rubby De La Rosa strains groin

Right-hander Rubby De La Rosa, rehabilitating after elbow surgery, threw two scoreless innings in a Class-A game with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes but left because of a groin strain.

"I felt it on a couple of pitches" before leaving Saturday's game against the Storm in Lake Elsinore, De La Rosa said Sunday while visiting the Dodgers' clubhouse.

Otherwise, De La Rosa said "everything is progressing very good."

Mattingly said that De La Rosa, 23, was "day to day now" but that the injury was "probably nothing major. Maybe a day or two. I guess the good news is, it's not his elbow."

De La Rosa had Tommy John surgery a year ago after coming up as a hard-throwing rookie who was 4-5 with a 3.71 earned-run average in 13 appearances, including 10 starts.

james.peltz@latimes.com

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