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Arizona Diamondbacks: Same approach in this important series

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A. J. Pollock returned to the line-up in Dodger Stadium on July 4.(Christian Petersen / Getty Images)
A. J. Pollock returned to the line-up in Dodger Stadium on July 4.(Christian Petersen / Getty Images)
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Manager Torey Lovullo of the Arizona Diamondbacks said his team will not change its method.

LOS ANGELES – For the Arizona Diamondbacks, the next three days will be business as usual. Despite confronting the National League West Division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers in an important three-game set in Dodger Stadium, the words from the clubhouse is the team’s approach is no different than any other game.

Coming into play Tuesday night, the Dodgers held a 2.5 game lead over Arizona and the teams are separated by two games in the loss column. Clearly, the Dodgers seek incentive in this series and started seven-time All-Star Clayton Kershaw on the mound. Plus, the Diamondbacks activated All-Star outfielder A. J. Pollock prior to the game. Leading off against Kershaw Tuesday night, Pollock was in the starting line-up for his first game since May 15.

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Despite the importance of a collision course for first place in the division, manager Torey Lovullo told Venom Strikes before Tuesday’s game in Dodger Stadium that his approach will not change. That’s also in concert with the fact Dodgers’ catcher Yasmani Grandal is considered one of the best framers of pitches in the game. That could necessitate the Diamondbacks to swing at more pitches, but Lovullo, too, discounted that notion.

"“We will not change how we are,” he said. “We don’t change for anyone, although Grandal is one of the best at what he does. Yes, we’re as ready as we be. We have Kershaw (Tuesday night) and not looking beyond this game.”"

Ditto for the Dodgers, who approach this game in a similar vein. Before Tuesday’s game, L. A. manager Dave Roberts told Venom Strikes that he expects no change in his club’s standard approach to the game.

"“We’re playing well and (Arizona) is playing well,” he said. “(Arizona) is a very good team, and we’re happy to have them at home. Our focus will not change, and it’s the same as each game.”"

Prior to the game, the Dodgers placed left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, with a bruised foot, on the disabled list. On Tuesday, Ryu underwent a MRI and X-rays were negative. Roberts told Venom Strikes that Ryu’s time on the DL is expected longer than the 10-days the Dodgers designated. To replace Ryu on the 25-man roster, the Dodgers recalled right-hander Ross Stripling.

Pollock activated

Prior to Tuesday’s game, the Diamondbacks reinstated outfielder A. J. Pollock from the 10-day disabled list. Pollock was placed on the DL on May 15 with a strained right groin. In seven rehab appearances at Triple-A Reno, Pollock hit .278 with two doubles, two home runs and two RBIs.

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At the same time, Lovullo told Venom Strikes outfield Yasmany Tomas suffered a set-back. In the process of his rehabilitation, Tomas developed a groin injury in another location from his original injury of lower back issues. Tomas has been taken off baseball activity and Lovullo indicated there is no timetable for any activity.

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