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Lacking Options, Dodgers Struggling First Base Duo To Continue Platoon

Chad Billingsley will look for run support from either one of his first basemen on Wednesday.
Chad Billingsley will look for run support from either one of his first basemen on Wednesday.

Juan Rivera gets the start at first base Wednesday night for the Dodgers in their series finale against the Rockies. It's the 24th start at first base in the last 50 games for Rivera, with James Loney starting the other 26 games during that span.

Rivera is hitting .250/.286/.357, a 77 OPS+, with five home runs in 76 games this season. Last year, he was hitting .243/.305/.360, a 79 OPS+, with six home runs in 70 games for Toronto, and he was designated for assignment. This year, he's half of the worst first base tandem in the National League.

Loney is hitting .252/.302/.332, with two home runs in 102 games this season.

Since the All-Star break, the duo has combined to hit .252/.268/.350 with two home runs and 13 RBI in 24 games. Both home runs were hit by Rivera.

"Juan is here, James is here. We're platooning there, trying to get the most out of the position as we can," said manager Don Mattingly. "Do we want more? Obviously."

But short of a trade for another first baseman, Mattingly's plan for more production at first base is to keep running Rivera and Loney out there and hope they improve.

Jerry Sands was recalled from Triple A on Monday, but at this point is not yet seen as a viable choice to play every day at first base. Nor is Scott Van Slyke, currently in Albuquerque. At least not yet. Mattingly was asked if he thought Loney and Rivera were his best options at first base.

"They are at this point," Mattingly said. "With the options that we have right now, we look at Juan and James. Obviously Jerry was doing some things at Triple A and he's up right now so he has a chance to become a part of that mix."

Starting Lineups

Andre Ethier flipped spots with Hanley Ramirez in the batting order. This is the 10th time Ethier has batted fifth this season, but the first time since May 2.

LF Young (S)
LF Victorino (S)
SS Rutledge

2B Ellis
CF Fowler (S)
CF Kemp
C Rosario

SS Ramirez
RF Colvin (L)

RF Ethier (L)
3B Pacheco
1B Rivera
1B McBride

3B Hairston
2B LeMahieu
C Treanor
P Francis (L)

P Billingsley

Game Time: 7:10 p.m.

TV: Prime Ticket

MLB Gameday