LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers plan to activate outfielder Carl Crawford for this weekend's series against the Padres - the announcement hasn't been made officially just yet - but Crawford won't be in the starting lineup for Thursday night's series opener against San Diego.
Matt Kemp starts in left field, his 40th start in 41 games since Crawford was placed on the disabled list with a sprained left ankle.
Hanley Ramirez is back at shortstop after two games at designated hitter in Detroit, and he flipped spots with Yasiel Puig. Ramirez is batting second and Puig third, something that was tried 13 times in a 16-game stretch in June.
Ramirez is hitting .345/.435/.534 batting second this season, including 16 starts. Puig though has just one home run in 30 games batting third, hitting .286/.362/.393.
Scott Van Slyke is in center field against the right-handed Odrisamer Despaigne, the seventh start against a right-handed pitcher for Van Slyke this season.
Chris Denorfia, hitting .310/.412/.690 with three home runs in 34 plate appearances against Clayton Kershaw, starts in right field and bats leadoff for the Padres.
Chase Headley has the most career plate appearances among Padres against Kershaw with 50, but is 10-for-48 (.208) against him with three doubles, a triple and two walks. Cameron Maybin is 2-for-16 (.125) with two walks and five strikeouts. Carlos Quentin is 3-for-11 (.273) with a double and a walks, and Yasmani Grandal is 4-for-8 (.500) with a double and a walk.