Andrew Toles is hitting .500 in the National League Championship Series in his first major league season. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff photographer)
CHICAGO — Andrew Toles’ ascent to the top of the lineup is complete.
Toles, a 24-year-old rookie who began the season in Single-A, will lead off Game 6 of the National League Championship Series for the Dodgers on Saturday. It’s the first time he’s batted leadoff in a major league game.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has used Chase Utley in the leadoff spot against right-handed pitchers throughout the series. (Right-hander Kyle Hendricks is starting Game 6 for Chicago.) Utley is giving the Dodgers longer at-bats — he’s seen 4.03 pitches per plate appearance to 3.70 for Toles — but is still looking for his first hit in the series. Toles has five hits, including two doubles, and one walk in 10 at-bats.
Toles batted second this season once, in September, but otherwise hasn’t hit higher than seventh in his time with the Dodgers.
First base umpire Ted Barrett calls Dexter Fowler safe, having beaten a footrace with Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (right), after pitcher Pedro Baez (foreground) failed to cover the bag. (Stephen Carr/Staff photographer)
Elana Morales polishes the giant Tommy Lasorda replica championship ring at Dodger Stadium before the start of Game 4 of the National League Championship Series. (Stephen Carr/Staff photographer)
The Dodgers are facing Chicago Cubs pitcher Jon Lester today for the second time in less than a week. Manager Dave Roberts brought back the same starting nine from Game 1, but shook up the batting order.
Carlos Ruiz is batting cleanup for the first time since May. Adrian Gonzalez is batting sixth for the first time since June 16, 2012 — when he started in right field for the Boston Red Sox.
“It’s the same eight guys, but as far as where to put guys, it’s a little bit of a Lester thing, a little bit of a left-handed thing,” Roberts said. “Four-five-six, there’s going to be some opportunities there. Those three guys, I feel good to drive in a run.”