Justin Turner sits as Howie Kendrick gets his first start at third base since April 28.

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:
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Watch: Dave Roberts explains why Howie Kendrick will play first base for the Dodgers.

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:

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Game 28: The Dodgers were pretty good, except for the fact that they lost.

Alex Wood

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.

Adrian Gonzalez and Howie Kendrick among the Dodgers’ designated hitters in Toronto.


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:

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Yasiel Puig, Howie Kendrick dropped in batting order amid struggles.

Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig’s batting average has fallen from .400 on April 14 to .265 on Thursday. (Associated Press photo)

Yasiel Puig and Howie Kendrick were dropped to fifth and seventh, respectively, in the Dodgers’ batting order Thursday, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is sticking with the two through their free-flailing struggles.

Roberts shuffled his regulars to produce a unique lineup in his 23rd game as manager. Catcher Yasmani Grandal hit cleanup for the first time this year. Four left-handed hitters (Chase Utley, Corey Seager, Adrian Gonzalez and the switch-hitting Grandal) led off against ace Miami Marlins right-hander Jose Fernandez.

Puig had a .405 batting average and .500 on-base percentage 10 games into the season. Over his next 12 games, those figures dipped to .140 and .159. This week, Puig reported to the batting cage for early work on the field with hitting coach Turner Ward and coach Manny Mota.

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