SAN FRANCISCO — Adrian Gonzalez‘s bad back, Howie Kendrick‘s strained hamstring, and Justin Turner‘s sore left knee will keep three of the Dodgers’ starting infielders out of the lineup Wednesday, one day after they clinched the National League West title.
Otherwise, the lineup has a fairly normal look. That should be the case for the final five games of the season, manager Don Mattingly said:
The Dodgers’ full lineup against Giants right-hander Mike Leake:
SAN FRANCISCO — Adrian Gonzalez said the pain in his back was so great that he couldn’t bend over Saturday. Back-to-back days off Saturday and Sunday helped, and he’s in the Dodgers’ lineup Monday against the Giants.
“It got me from not being able to play to being able to play,” the first baseman said.
Gonzalez is hitless in his last 12 at-bats.
“I could’ve played yesterday, I’m pretty confident,” he said, “but they wanted to give me another day. Their concern is the same as mine: to be ready for the playoffs.”
DENVER — Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez was given a second consecutive day off to rest his sore back as promised. Corey Seager isn’t in the Dodgers’ Sunday lineup for their series finale against the Rockies either. The rookie infielder was given a day off Friday to rest what manager Don Mattingly called “heavy legs.”
Here’s what Mattingly said about Gonzalez and Seager this morning, along with an update on Kiké Hernandez:
DENVER — First baseman Adrian Gonzalez was scratched from the Dodgers’ lineup when his sore back continued to bother him during pregame activities Saturday. Yasmani Grandal, originally scheduled to catch Brett Anderson, will play first base instead. A.J. Ellis is the new Dodgers’ catcher.
Gonzalez has been battling the injury intermittently this season. Friday, he was unable to get a ground ball by Justin Morneau that skirted between his legs into right field.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly believes that Gonzalez will be able to recover given enough time off, and Gonzalez will not be in Sunday’s lineup either.
“Every time we’ve rested it, it’s gotten better every time,” Mattingly said.
Here’s more from the manager on the lineup switch:
If the Dodgers do clinch the National League West title this weekend, it could afford Gonzalez many more days off down the stretch.
“Depends on how he feels,” Mattingly said. “I don’t think ‘shutdown’ is a good word. We want to get rid of it, though.”
Winning pitcher Chris Hatcher hugs Adrian Gonzalez after Gonzalez’s bases-loaded single in the 14th inning lifted the Dodgers to a 5-4 win. (Associated Press photo)
Home runs by Adrian Gonzalez (watch) and Andre Ethier (watch) put the Dodgers ahead 4-3 in the sixth inning, but a possible missed balk call sent the game into extras tied 4-4. The Dodgers won 5-4 in the 14th inning on a bases-loaded single by Gonzalez. Winning pitcher Chris Hatcher called it “probably our biggest win of the season.”
The box score is here. The photo gallery is here.
The Dodgers lead the National League West by 4 ½ games. It’s their biggest lead since July 12 and not far from their season-high of 5 ½ games. Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw are lined up to start their next two.
Kiké Hernandez landed on the 15-day disabled list prior to the game. Afterward he said he was diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain that felt better compared to the previous day. He’s optimistic he can be activated once his time is up on Sept. 15.