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Roberts affirms confidence in Baez

MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- When Dodgers righty Pedro Baez came out for relief duty in the top of sixth in the Dodgers' 5-4 loss to the Rockies on Friday, he was greeted with boos from the sellout crowd at Dodger Stadium.

Baez proceeded to walk the first batter he faced, and more boos rang out from the crowd. But the hard-throwing righty was unfazed by the fans' displeasure and bounced back to strike out the side. He left the game to cheers from the crowd.

Full Game Coverage

LOS ANGELES -- When Dodgers righty Pedro Baez came out for relief duty in the top of sixth in the Dodgers' 5-4 loss to the Rockies on Friday, he was greeted with boos from the sellout crowd at Dodger Stadium.

Baez proceeded to walk the first batter he faced, and more boos rang out from the crowd. But the hard-throwing righty was unfazed by the fans' displeasure and bounced back to strike out the side. He left the game to cheers from the crowd.

Full Game Coverage

Following the game Friday, manager Dave Roberts was not pleased with the way the crowd reacted to Baez coming into the game and said it was irresponsible. Roberts echoed the same sentiments Saturday and said he didn't feel the need to talk to Baez about the situation.

"He doesn't take things personally; he's a pro," Roberts said. "He's a team guy. To see how he responded was great. It put a smile on my face."

Baez had a strong first half for the Dodgers, holding opponents to a .208 batting average and only allowing four homers in 38 appearances. But Baez has topped that amount in the second half, allowing five homers in 21 appearances.

Outside his outing Friday, Baez has struggled in his last five appearances, highlighted by the walk-off home run he allowed in San Diego on Sept. 2. He was rocked for four runs in his following outing vs. Arizona on Monday.

Roberts said Baez's struggles with his fastball command and getting behind hitters are the cause of his issues but said regardless, he expects Baez to be fine.

"Pedro will pitch in high-leverage situations," Roberts said. "My confidence in him hasn't wavered and it won't. I've seen too good, for too long."

Dodgers skipping Ryu's next start

The Dodgers plan to skip Hyun-Jin Ryu's scheduled start Monday vs. the Giants. Roberts said the Dodgers want to keep Ryu, who has made 21 starts this season, fresh and make sure he stays healthy through the end of this season and for the start of next season.

Kenta Maeda is slated to pitch for the series opener vs. the Giants, Roberts said. Ryu has pitched in 22 games this season, which is the most since the 2014 season, after having season-ending elbow surgery in 2016 and season-ending shoulder surgery in 2015.

Roberts also said Clayton Kershaw will throw a bullpen session Saturday and could have his start moved up to Tuesday.

Worth noting

Yasiel Puig will join the Cuban Heritage Committee of Los Angeles to collect items and raise funds for hurricane relief Sunday. Puig's Wild Horse Children's Foundation will also accept monetary donations through Monday. For those that live in the Los Angeles area, Items can be dropped off Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Sociedad Jose Marti, 12141 Prairie Ave., Hawthorne.

Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Pedro Baez, Hyun-Jin Ryu