Two days after benching, Yasiel Puig is batting leadoff for the Dodgers against the San Diego Padres.

Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig was benched midway through the Dodgers’ last game against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff Photographer)


Yasiel Puig‘s benching lasted half a game.

Puig is back at the top of the Dodgers’ batting order today with the San Diego Padres in town. The rest of the lineup has a very normal look to it with Hyun-Jin Ryu on the mound.

There will be no (re-)rematch between the Dodgers and Carlos Quentin. The 31-year-old outfielder, who broke Zack Greinke‘s clavicle in April, is having season-ending knee surgery. Greinke is scheduled to start Sunday.

San Diego is also giving Chase Headley a second consecutive game off. The third baseman came down with back spasms Tuesday in Phoenix and hasn’t played since. No word yet whether Headley, who hit 31 home runs last season but has been stuck on eight since July 27, will be available off the bench.

Left-hander Eric Stults, whose first eight seasons were spent in the Dodgers’ organization, starts for San Diego. He’s 1-2 with a 3.75 earned-run average in four career starts against his former team.

Leave your jackets at home — it’s 90 degrees with a slight breeze.

Here are both teams’ lineups for the 7 p.m. game:
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Daily Distractions: The Dodgers’ strikeouts are shrinking.

Mark McGwireIn digging through some numbers yesterday, here’s one:

This Dodgers team might well finish with no 100-strikeout batters.

Andre Ethier is the club’s most prolific whiffer, with 82 coming into today’s game against the San Diego Padres. He and Adrian Gonzalez (79) are likely to get a fair amount of rest in September, so keep an eye on Yasiel Puig (79 strikeouts) and, remarkably, Matt Kemp (69) over the final month too.

If the Phillies’ Ryan Howard can avoid striking out five more times over the final month of 2013, and Cardinals first baseman Allen Craig doesn’t stay stuck on 94, the Dodgers might be the majors’ only team without a 100-strikeout man.

How’s that for a statistical anomaly from a Mark McGwire-coached lineup?

Did we look up the last time that happened? Sure did: 2007, when Russell Martin whiffed a team-leading 89 times. Before Martin, the last Dodger to lead the team with fewer than 100 strikeouts was current third-base coach Tim Wallach in 1994.

But it’s a more impressive feat in 2013 with strikeouts at an all-time high, with a hitting coach whose final major-league season featured twice as many strikeouts as hits.

But McGwire took the job last fall with a mantra about patience, and has stayed true to that in his first season as hitting coach.

Some bullet points for a Friday morning:

• Kemp went 0-for-5 with a strikeout and two double-play groundouts in his first rehab game with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga last night. Kemp was the Quakes’ designated hitter and figures to play center field the next couple days. There were no ankle problems, mercifully, but Kemp was fooled by a couple changeups.

• The Padres must be happy to be rid of Edinson Volquez.

• In one early-morning pre-waiver deadline trade, John Axford went from the Milwaukee Brewers to the St. Louis Cardinals. If the Dodgers hook up with the Cardinals in the postseason, they will face a bullpen that can claim this:

• From ESPN.com: “Scorekeeping in baseball, however, is an art form, individual expression that makes you feel you are part of the game. It personally and precisely records every moment of the game, allowing you to replay and relive it forever.” • Not a baseball photo, but: Championship-winning coach takes a photo of himself and his wife kissing a championship trophy in 1976, loses hair, joins Twitter, re-stages the photo in 2013, shares photo with the world. Enjoy. • Baseball photo.

 

• Whenever I need a laugh, I do drugs:

Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt on Edinson Volquez.

One day after the Dodgers reportedly signed Edinson Volquez, pitching coach Rick Honeycutt talked to MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM about what role the right-hander might have:

“I think the guys are pretty well set for this weekend, but we’ll get him in,” Honeycutt said. “Obivously he adds some depth to our pitching staff with us going forward. We’re able to expand the rosters starting Monday. We get some added depth in case there’s anything going on down the stretch.”

So it sounds like Hyun-Jin Ryu, Chris Capuano and Zack Greinke will start in that order this weekend against the Padres.

The full interview: