Kiké Hernandez, not Joc Pederson, is the Dodgers’ primary center fielder for now.

Kiké Hernandez

Dodgers center fielder Kiké Hernandez has a .957 OPS in August. (Associated Press photo)

HOUSTON — One day after Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson was benched against Scott Kazmir, a left-handed pitcher, he was out of the lineup again with right-hander Lance McCullers starting for the Houston Astros.

Kiké Hernandez has started both games instead, and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Hernandez is the Dodgers’ primary center fielder for now:
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Joc Pederson sits against a left-handed starter, which could become a trend.

Joc Pederson

Joc Pederson has struggled to hit left-handed pitching in his rookie season. (John McCoy/Staff photographer)

HOUSTON — Joc Pederson isn’t in the Dodgers’ starting lineup Saturday against the Houston Astros and left-handed starter Scott Kazmir. Kiké Hernandez is playing center field and batting seventh.

Pederson has struggled to hit for average against all pitchers this season. Against left-handers, the struggles have extended to his on-base percentage (.305) and power (.349 slugging average).

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly all but conceded that Hernandez will start against left-handers for now.
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Game 108: Zack Greinke rebounds from disastrous first inning in Dodgers’ win.

Zack Greinke

Zack Greinke hit his fifth career home run in the third inning of the Dodgers’ 10-8 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. (Associated Press photo)

PHILADELPHIA — Zack Greinke did it all, for better or worse, in the Dodgers’ 10-8 win over the Phillies. Even after giving up six runs in six innings his ERA is lower than Clayton Kershaw‘s last season, so where does the Greinke-for-MVP candidacy stand? The box score is here.

The Dodgers’ lead in the National League West is 2 ½ games over the San Francisco Giants, who play the Cubs on Thursday night.

The Phillies’ radio color commentator lobbed a verbal grenade at Joc Pederson yesterday based on something Pederson never said.

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Game 107: Mistakes, missed opportunities don’t cost Dodgers this time.

Joc Pederson

Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, left, tags out Joc Pederson after the rookie tried to advance to third base on a single by Alberto Callaspo during the fourth inning Wednesday. (Associated Press photo)

PHILADELPHIA >> The Dodgers made plenty of mistakes, and squandered plenty of scoring chances, but still beat the Phillies 4-3 on Wednesday. The box score is here.

Joc Pederson is shortening his swing in hopes of breaking out of his slump.

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Joc Pederson falls just short in Home Run Derby debut.

Todd Frazier of the Cincinnati Reds defeated Dodgers rookie Joc Pederson in the final round of the Home Run Derby.

Pederson defeated Manny Machado in the first round and Albert Pujols in the second, before facing the hometown favorite Frazier in the final round at Great American Ballpark. Pederson batted first and belted 14 home runs. Frazier batted next and hit the tie-breaking 15th home run in “bonus time.”

In the first round, Pederson hit the longest home run of the derby, estimated at 487 feet.

Pederson will be in the starting lineup for the National League in the All-Star Game tomorrow.

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