Andrew Friedman: Tampa Bay ‘will always be a meaningful part of my life.’

Andrew Friedman press conference
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Andrew Friedman doesn’t often have press conferences, not in Los Angeles, and especially not on the road. But he made an exception today when the Dodgers visited the team he helped turn from an also-ran into a World Series contender.

Friedman, an executive in the Tampa Bay Rays’ front office from 2004-13, reminisced about his time here earlier today:

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Kiké Hernandez leads off, will DH for Dodgers in Tampa Bay.

Fourth American League park in the books. #Rays #Dodgers #roadtrip

A photo posted by J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) on


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Kiké Hernandez will be the Dodgers’ designated hitter for the opener of their two-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Hernandez is leading off against left-hander Matt Moore. Joc Pederson is starting in center field — just like Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said last week — and shortstop Corey Seager is getting the day off in favor of Charlie Culberson. Pederson and Adrian Gonzalez are the only left-handers in the lineup for the 4 p.m. (PT) interleague game.

Here are the full lineups for both teams:

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Game 26: Clayton Kershaw carries the Dodgers to a much-needed win.

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw struck out 14 batters and didn’t allow a run in throwing his first complete game of the season Sunday. (Associated Press photo)

The Dodgers’ losing streak ended at six games and Clayton Kershaw made all the difference. The left-hander tossed his first complete game of the season and drove in the only run in a 1-0 win over the San Diego Padres. The game story is here. The box score is here.

Yasiel Puig is optimistic he can work his way out of his current slump.

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Why Yasiel Puig is batting leadoff today against the San Diego Padres.

Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig will lead off Sunday for the first time since last July. (Sarah Reingewirtz/Staff photographer)


The first time Yasiel Puig was penciled into a major league lineup, he hit leadoff. The last time — before Sunday — was July of last year.

In one sense, it’s a surprise he ever moved from the top of the lineup. For his career Puig has a .467 on-base percentage, with almost as many walks (6) as strikeouts (8), when leading off a game.

Today, Puig will lead off against the San Diego Padres not because he’s hot but because he’s cold. In his last 14 games Puig has a .137/.154/.235 slash line.

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Scott Van Slyke’s timetable for recovery is longer than first thought.

Dodgers outfielder/first baseman Scott Van Slyke still hasn’t resumed baseball activities and is taking longer than expected to recover from his sore lower back.

“Slykey feels better, but as far as baseball activities he’s not really doing a whole lot,” manager Dave Roberts said. “He’s moving around better, he’s out here during batting practice but not taking balls off the bat.”

Roberts added that Van Slyke is still a week away from hitting off a tee or playing catch.

Van Slyke had one hit, a double, in 10 plate appearances when he went on the disabled list April 10. The Dodgers had no intention of placing him on the 60-day disabled list at the time of the injury, but that seems like more of an option today than it did three weeks ago.

In any event, don’t expect Van Slyke to be activated when the Dodgers return home from their Tampa/Toronto road trip a week from tomorrow.

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