Ausmus to start vs. D-backs, Haren

Ausmus to start vs. D-backs, Haren

LOS ANGELES -- Brad Ausmus will start behind the plate for the Dodgers on Tuesday night and no, Joe Torre said, it has nothing to do with the five wild pitches that Russell Martin didn't stop Monday night.

Torre said the decision was made over the weekend to give Martin Tuesday night off. Matchups probably have something to do with it, as Martin has a .188 lifetime average against Dan Haren, Arizona's starter.

The decision of who starts at third base isn't so clear to Torre. Casey Blake has missed the past three starts with a strained right hamstring muscle. Mark Loretta has started in his place each game.

"I'm a little reluctant," Torre said about starting Blake Tuesday night. "It's getting better. He could play, but I'm not automatically writing his name in.

"The problem is, he gets some balls hit to him like [Arizona third baseman Mark] Reynolds had with Russell's two balls and you dive for the balls and, all of a sudden, your body is surprised by it."

In addition to the five wild pitches that eluded Martin and his two strikeouts, he was robbed of a pair of hits by Reynolds, who was playing Martin as the Cubs did over the weekend, right on the third-base line, which is where he pulled a pair of sharp grounders for tough-luck outs.

While those two balls were hit about as hard as any the Dodgers struck Monday night, the Dodgers out-hit Arizona, 9-5, with Juan Pierre leading the way with three hits, and Matt Kemp and Rafael Furcal adding two each.

Furcal had his two even though he didn't start as a precautionary measure for his surgically repaired back, but he will start Tuesday night at shortstop.

Meanwhile, Randy Wolf will start for the Dodgers. He's 7-3 with a 4.34 ERA lifetime against Arizona and in his only start this year, held the D-backs to one run on two hits over seven innings for a win.

Pitching matchup
LAD: LHP Randy Wolf (3-1, 2.84 ERA)
His last time out, Wolf might have pitched his best game since returning to the Dodgers. He took a shutout into the eighth inning at Wrigley Field, chased by Bobby Scales' pinch-hit homer. To that point, he had struck out seven with one walk and allowed only one runner as far as second base. Wolf has thrown six or more innings in his past five starts and entered his last start with seven no-decisions in his previous eight starts.

ARI: RHP Dan Haren (4-4, 2.54 ERA)
Haren was outstanding against the Braves in his last outing. The right-hander helped an overworked bullpen by allowing just two runs over eight innings. Haren's control has been outstanding all season and his no-walk, eight-strikeout performance against the Braves was another example. In 71 innings this year, Haren has fanned 71 and walked just nine. Haren showed his ability to make adjustments and think along with hitters as he realized Chipper Jones was looking for an off-speed pitch in the third when he drove in a run with a double. So when Haren faced him with one on in the eighth, he threw him a fastball with two strikes and caught Jones looking.

Tidbits
In addition to three more hits on Monday, Pierre stole his 11th base. ... Kemp, who hit .407 on the recent road trip, went 2-for-4 with a double on Monday. ... Guillermo Mota continues to rebound, having not allowed a run in his past four outings. He's lowered his ERA from 9.00 to 6.53 after making a mechanical adjustment.

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

On television
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On radio
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Up next
• Wednesday: Dodgers (Chad Billingsley, 6-3, 2.80) vs. Diamondbacks (Jon Garland, 4-4, 5.75), 7:10 p.m. PT
• Thursday: Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw, 3-3, 4.34) vs. Phillies (Cole Hamels, 3-2, 5.21), 7:10 p.m. PT
• Friday: Dodgers (Eric Milton, 2-0, 3.14) vs. Phillies (Jamie Moyer, 4-5, 6.75), 7:10 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.