Despite playing without Matt Kemp for nearly two months and Andre Ethier for the last two weeks, the injury-plagued Los Angeles Dodgers made it through the All-Star break with the NL West lead.
While their conclusion to the first half left much to be desired, the Dodgers have reason for optimism as their second half gets underway.
Kemp and Ethier are both expected back Friday night when Los Angeles opens a three-game set with the visiting San Diego Padres.
With Kemp (strained left hamstring) missing all but two games since May 14 and Ethier (strained left oblique) out the last 11, the Dodgers (47-40) hit .198 and averaged 2.2 runs in losing 15 of 20 before the break.
"I don't like how it's ended, but we've put ourselves in a good position," manager Don Mattingly, whose team fell 7-1 at Arizona on Sunday, told MLB's official website. "We'll see if we are good enough in the second half ... We need Matt to be himself, we need 'Dre to be himself."
Leading San Francisco by one-half ...