WASHINGTON — The newcomer will be taking the mound for the Dodgers in their first game after the All-Star break.
Recently acquired Ricky Nolasco drew the starting assignment for the Dodgers' series opener Friday here against the Nationals. Pitching opposite him will be Stephen Strasburg.
For Nolasco, the trade that sent him from the Miami Marlins to the Dodgers this month was more than a homecoming. The Rialto native was granted an opportunity to reach the playoffs for the first time in his eight-year career.
That opportunity didn't exist with the Marlins, who are 18 games out of first place in the National League East. The Dodgers are 2 1/2 games behind the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West.
"Just to be a part of this is a huge privilege," said Nolasco, who was 1-1 with a 3.00 earned-run average in his first two starts with the Dodgers.
A reputed workhorse, Nolasco will be pitching Friday on regular four days' rest.
Nolasco will be followed in the rotation by Zack Greinke. Staff ace Clayton Kershaw won't start until the series finale Sunday, as Manager Don Mattingly wanted to give him a few extra days to recover from his Tuesday appearance in the All-Star game.
The Dodgers also wanted to give Hyun-Jin Ryu the opportunity to recharge. Ryu was accustomed to pitching once a week in his native South Korea and looked as if he was out of gas in his most recent start. Ryu will start Monday in Toronto against the Blue Jays.
Chris Capuano will start the second game in Toronto.
Utility man Nick Punto was the Dodgers' winner of the Heart & Hustle Award. The award is voted on by former and current major leaguers, and is presented to a player on each team "who demonstrates a passion for the game of baseball and best embodies the values, spirit and traditions of the game."
Punto has appeared in 74 games at shortstop, second base and third base. He is batting .251.