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Billingsley starts; will Beimel relieve?

Billingsley starts; will Beimel relieve?

The season is only seven games old, but reliever Joe Beimel has been in five of them and if he keeps up that pace, not even Mike Marshall's 34-year-old Major League record 106 appearances is safe.

Beimel said he'd "like to think" he could hit 100 appearances (he's on pace for 115), as long as he enters pretty much every game in which he warms up. He said the up and downs in the bullpen that don't result in an appearance don't show up on any stat sheet, but are permanently recorded in the soft tissue of his left arm.

"You might be up two or three times and not come in and be expected to be ready the next day," said Beimel, who pitched one-third of an inning Monday night and has a total of three innings in the five appearances. "You might get up 10 days in a row and nobody realizes if you don't get into games. This year, pretty much every time I've gotten up I've gotten into games.

"By the end of last year, I was pretty much worn out and it takes a toll on my command. My arm was dragging a bit. A lot of times last year I got up and didn't come into the game. By the end, it wore on me a bit. But that's expected. That's what the off-season is for."

Pitching matchup
LAD: RHP Chad Billingsley (0-0, 3.86 ERA)
Billingsley makes his first start of the season after two unexpected relief appearances. He was scratched from his scheduled debut last Wednesday before the first pitch because of a rain forecast, then relieved for one-third of an inning, only for rain to interrupt play for 74 minutes. He was then was called on in relief again Friday night in San Diego for two scoreless innings. He is 4-1 with a 2.36 ERA lifetime against Arizona and was 2-1 against the Diamondbacks last year.

ARI: LHP Doug Davis (0-1, 4.91 ERA)
Davis was roughed up by the Reds in his first start of the year last Thursday in Cincinnati. The left-hander allowed just three runs (two earned) but he walked six and allowed a total of 10 baserunners in 3 2/3 innings. Davis was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last week and this will be his final start before undergoing surgery on Thursday. Davis posted a double-digit win total for the fourth year in a row in 2007. Davis can usually be counted on for innings. Last year he worked six or more frames in 19 of his 33 starts and was 11-4 with a 2.30 ERA in those games.

Tidbits
Manager Joe Torre said outfielder Matt Kemp would return to the lineup Tuesday night against Davis. Torre said he didn't want to bring back the slumping Kemp against veteran right-hander Dan Haren, Monday's starter. "You try to pick your spots to get them going and Haren is tough on right-handers," said Torre. "It's tough enough for veteran to work out of slumps. Young guys, they have a problem being patient. In Matt's case, I don't know him as well as I'm going to, but he seems very anxious. I base the decision on what I know and what I think I know. He's overswinging, jumping at the ball instead of letting the ball come to you. I talked to him today and told him he'd play tomorrow. He's going to get plenty of playing time. I told him to be patient with me. I think he understands. I'm not saying he agrees. He says he feels pretty good at the plate and I don't see that." ... Rafael Furcal created the Dodgers' two-run rally in the sixth inning on Monday. He slapped a single to shortstop and, when Russell Martin singled to right field, rounded second and faked going to third, drawing an overthrow from Justin Upton that allowed Furcal to score and put Martin on third base to be singled home by Jeff Kent ... Rookie third baseman Blake DeWitt, after starting the season 5-for-8, is in an 0-for-13 tailspin that has his average down to .238.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• PRIME-HD

On radio
• KABC 790, KHJ 930 (Español)

Up next
• Wednesday: Dodgers (Hiroki Kuroda, 1-0, 1.29) at D-backs (Micah Owings, 1-0, 1.35), 12:40 p.m. PT
• Thursday: Off-day
• Friday: Dodgers (Brad Penny, 1-1, 2.84) vs. Padres (Jake Peavy, 2-0, 0.56), 7:40 p.m. PT

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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