LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers are banking on Brett Anderson to provide some relief to their ailing starting rotation.
Anderson will make his season debut Sunday when he starts against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the rubber match of the three-game series at Dodger Stadium.
Anderson, in his second season with the Dodgers, is returning after undergoing arthroscopic back surgery for a bulging disk on March 3.
"I'm excited for Brett. It's been a long road for him," Dodger manager Dave Roberts said. "To get him back, I think it's obviously a good thing for us."
The Dodgers could use a major boost from Anderson. With ace Clayton Kershaw (herniated disk) out until September, and the recently acquired Rich Hill (blisters on middle pitching finger) and Bud Norris (mild mid-back strain) on the disabled list for possibly another week, Anderson's addition couldn't be more timely for the Dodgers.
In Saturday's 8-4 win by the Dodgers, starter Brandon McCarthy left with right hip stiffness. McCarthy, who had Tommy John surgery in April 2015, could be headed to the disabled list since the right-hander admitted all is not right with him physically and mentally.
"It has been a (revolving door) but I think each guy that has been given an opportunity has competed really well and given us a chance," said Roberts, who has relied on spot starts from rookies Ross Stripling and Julio Urias, among others. "We're excited (for Sunday) to No. 1 win the series and also get Brett in the mix for 2016."
Anderson made three rehab starts with Class A Rancho Cucamonga and Triple-A Oklahoma City, compiling an 0-1 mark with a 2.25 ERA with 11 strikeouts and one walk in 12 innings.
He last faced the Pirates on July 25, 2014 as a member of the Colorado Rockies, limiting them to two hits in 6 1/3 scoreless innings and earning the win in an 8-1 Rockies' victory. He struck out one and walked four on 102 pitches.
In two career starts against Pittsburgh, Anderson is 1-0 with a 0.68 ERA and has limited the Pirates to a .130 batting average.
Chad Kuhl (2-0, 3.91 ERA) will get the nod for the Pirates. The 23-year-old right-hander worked six innings in his last start, allowing two runs on four hits with four strikeouts and four walks in a 6-4 decision over the San Diego Padres in Pittsburgh last Tuesday.
Kuhl made his big league debut and captured a 4-3 decision over Kershaw and the Dodgers at PNC Park on June 26. It's the only time he's faced the Dodgers.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle is hoping Kuhl can slow the Dodgers offense, which hammered the Pirates for 17 hits Saturday. The Pirates couldn't take advantage of 11 walks by Dodgers' pitchers and tied a franchise record by stranding 18 runners.
"They were out there. We couldn't get them in," Hurdle said. "I don't think we were doing anything but fight, scratch, claw our way back in the game by getting guys in. Bases loaded twice against McCarthy, a ball in the gap would have been nice. We just weren't able to score."