Baseball / Sports

Dodgers activate Josh Beckett

That was brief, if at least encouraging.

The Dodgers activated Josh Beckett prior to Tuesday's game against the Pirates, and to make room on their 25-man roster, sent left-hander Paco Rodriguez back to triple-A Albuquerque.

Rodriguez was called up after the All-Star break and appeared in two games over the weekend in St. Louis, retiring the only four Cardinals he faced.

Last year that would have almost been expected, Rodriguez posting a splendid 1.85 ERA in his first 65 games. But the Dodgers clearly overworked their young (22 last season) star and he had a 6.35 ERA in his last 11 games and was left off their playoff roster.

This season he continued to have rough spots in the first weeks of the season (7.11 ERA) and was returned to Albuquerque (2-3, 4.56 ERA, 1.48 WHIP), where he still appeared to struggle to find his previous groove.

Beckett was on the disabled list with left hip impingement. He last started on July 6 against the Rockies.

The right-hander has been a pleasant surprise this year. He began the season as the Dodgers' fifth starter, but has posted a 2.26 ERA and 1.03 WHIP, with a 2.03 opponents' batting average.

Beckett, however, is 34 and no doubt the Dodgers will be watching him carefully as the July 31 trading deadline draws near.

Also Tuesday, Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig -- both struck on the hand by pitches in St. Louis -- remain out of the lineup Tuesday against the Pirates.

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