Adrian Gonzalez shares the team lead with 20 RBIs in 39 games this season. (Associated Press photo)
The Dodgers dodged a bullet when Adrian Gonzalez
told manager Dave Roberts
he was feeling better one day after he left Monday’s game against the Angels with lower back tightness
Gonzalez still hasn’t spoken to reporters since he left the stadium last night. He wasn’t seen in the clubhouse or on the field for pregame activities Tuesday. But Roberts said he was hopeful that Gonzalez would be able to pinch hit tonight, though he would not be available to play the field. Howie Kendrick is starting at first base instead.
Roberts said that the Dodgers aren’t considering placing Gonzalez on the disabled list at the moment and it’s possible he could play tomorrow in Anaheim.
Gonzalez, 34, is the only Dodger who’s appeared in all 39 games this season. He’s batting .282 with four home runs and 20 RBIs, tied for the team lead.
Howie Kendrick is starting at third base for the first time since April 28, as Justin Turner gets a night off against New York Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard.
Turner is 2 for 6 with a pair of doubles and a walk against Syndergaard in his career, while Kendrick is 1 for 7 with four strikeouts. So why the switch? Manager Dave Roberts explained:
Here are the full lineups for both teams:
TORONTO — Howie Kendrick is playing his fifth position this week, penciled into the Dodgers’ starting lineup at first base while Adrian Gonzalez takes a turn at DH against the Blue Jays. It’s the first time Kendrick has started at first base since 2012.
Yesterday, manager Dave Roberts said he wasn’t worried that shifting positions has contributed to Kendrick’s struggles at the plate (.194/.237/.208). Roberts attributed that more to a spring training shortened by a groin injury.
Today, Roberts explained why Kendrick is starting ahead of Justin Turner and Chase Utley, both of whom played first base for the Dodgers last season:
Dodgers pitcher Alex Wood wasn’t expecting to be removed after allowing his third home run of the game Wednesday at Tropicana Field. (Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Alex Wood allowed three home runs, staining his pitching line like spaghetti sauce and staining what he felt was an otherwise good performance in an 8-5 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. The game story is here. The box score is here.
Howie Kendrick showed signs of life at Tropicana Field and is encouraged that he can emerge from a season-long slump.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Justin Turner is the Dodgers’ designated hitter today, the finale of a two-game mini-series against the Tampa Bay Rays, and Dave Roberts has a couple more possible DHs lined up for the Dodgers’ three-game series in Toronto this weekend.
“The DH, also some off-days, and also the depth — we’ve used a lot of players, given them at-bats and spread them out — the bodies feel good,” Roberts said. “The DH is really nice. Kiké yesterday. JT as a DH today. (Adrian Gonzalez) will DH most likely the last day. Most likely Howie (Kendrick) will DH in Toronto.”
Here are the lineups for both teams for the 4:10 p.m. (PT) game: