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Mattingly discusses the Dodgers' addition of Blanton

Ready to make an immediate impact in Los Angeles, newly acquired right-hander Joe Blanton will get his first feel of Dodger Blue on Sunday, as the team goes for a three-game sweep against the Cubs at Chavez Ravine.

Traded from the Phillies to the Dodgers on Friday, Blanton is happy to be taking the hill at pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium instead of hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park.

"This is a great place to pitch," Blanton said. "Being in California, you get that cool air at night. The ball doesn't travel as well as it does in Philly."

While it has been an up-and-down year for Blanton, going 8-9 with a 4.59 ERA, six of his last eight outings have been quality starts.

In his previous start last Saturday against the Braves, Blanton took a tough-luck loss, pitching seven innings and allowing two runs on four hits in a 2-1 Phillies loss.

Trying to prevent Blanton from his first victory with the Dodgers will be Cubs right-hander and Claremont, Calif., native Justin Germano.

He allowed just two runs on four hits in five innings against the Pirates on Monday, picking up his first win of the season with the North Siders.

With family and friends set to be at the game cheering him on, Germano will look to get the Cubs out of a slump that has seen them go 0-4 since the Trade Deadline.

"It comes at a time when you lose a few games in a row and everybody wants to blame it on the Trade Deadline, but the fact of the matter is, we haven't scored many runs to win baseball games and we didn't lose anybody there except Reed Johnson," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said on Saturday. "Other than that, we haven't done anything different. We just haven't scored runs again. You better hope [the Trade Deadline isn't the reason]. People are still being evaluated and it's time to take advantage of things."

Cubs: Garza feels ready after bullpen session
• Right-hander Matt Garza said he expects to start Tuesday against the Padres after throwing a full bullpen session on Saturday.

"I'm just champing at the bit and ready to go," Garza said. "Not doing anything for three days didn't set me back but didn't work out too well. Today I felt great, threw a whole bullpen and we'll wake up tomorrow."

If Garza does make the start, it would be his first since July 21, when he came out of the game with cramping in his right elbow.

While the Cubs will wait to see how the right-hander feels on Sunday before saying for sure who will start Tuesday's game, Sveum said that if Garza does pitch, he'd be on a limit of 70 to 80 pitches.

Dodgers: Fife optioned to clear way for Blanton
• On Saturday, the Dodgers announced Stephen Fife had been optioned to Triple-A to make room for Blanton on the active roster.

In three starts, Fife went 0-1 with a 2.16 ERA, filling in at first for Chad Billingsley and then for Nathan Eovaldi, who was traded for Hanley Ramirez.

• Manager Don Mattingly said the bullpen could be a possibility for Ted Lilly if the lefty can return at some point this season from the shoulder pain that landed him on the disabled list on May 24.

He said that option might work well since Lilly wouldn't need to work back to being able to throw 100 pitches, but he said making sure the veteran is healthy and able to throw without pain is the most important thing.

Worth noting
• Javier Baez, the Cubs' No. 1 pick in last year's First-Year Player Draft, was promoted from Class A Peoria to high Class A Daytona. The shortstop was batting .333 with 12 homers, 10 doubles, five triples and 33 RBIs, plus 20 stolen bases in 57 games.

• Dodgers reliever Javy Guerra has tossed scoreless relief in 20 of his last 24 appearances, posting a 1.75 ERA and a .242 opponents batting average since May 8.

• Blanton leads the National League with a 6.39 strikeout-to-walk ratio and has issued just 1.22 walks per nine innings, which also leads the league. Comments