LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers return home after a 2-3 road trip and two straight losses, hoping for some home cooking against the Rangers at Dodger Stadium.
Or maybe even a run in the first seven innings of the game might be nice, something denied them on Monday and Tuesday in Arlington.
The Dodgers are 25-10 at Chavez Ravine this season, second-best home record in the majors (The Cardinals are 26-7 in St. Louis). They are only 12-18 on the road, even though they have outscored their opponents (117-115) away from home.
Wandy Rodriguez is on the mound for the Rangers, so with a left-handed pitcher Scott Van Slyke gets the start in left field, freshly activated off the disabled list. Van Slyke is 6-for-21 (.286) with no home runs against left-handed pitching this year, but with four walks and a hit by pitch has a .423 on-base percentage against them.
In his career, Van Slyke is a .269/.368/.511 hitter against southpaws, with 13 home runs in 258 plate appearances. He has never faced Rodriguez.
Jimmy Rollins is 8-for-18 (.444) with a home run and a double against Rodriguez, but he gets the night off in the midst of a 5-for-41 (.122) slump. Kiké Hernandez starts at shortstop for the Dodgers.
Joc Pederson gets the night off as well against the lefty, with Chris Heisey starting in center field and batting second. Heisey is 7-for-23 (.304) with a double three home runs against and Rodriguez, tied for his most homers against any pitcher, but the two haven't faced one another since 2012.
Yasiel Puig shifts to the leadoff spot for the 39th time in his career, but the first time this season.
"We've been a little stagnant offensively," Mattingly said. "We thought it was a chance to get some spark out of the top of the order. It's just something a little different."
Mattingly said the club has talked about shuffling the lineup but wouldn't commit to Wednesday's change as being more than a one-day thing. For instance, Pederson will start Thursday, and has batted leadoff in his last 43 starts.
"I don't expect to talk about tomorrow's lineup yet," Mattingly said.
Clayton Kershaw has never faced Texas in his career, but three current Rangers have at least 10 plate appearances against him. Kyle Blanks is 4-for-22 (.182) with a home run and seven strikeouts against him, and was originally slated to start at first over Prince Fielder, who is 2-for-12 (.167) with a home run and two walks. But Blanks was a late scratch with achilles tendinitis in both his left and right legs, putting Fielder back in the lineup, batting cleanup.
Leadoff man and right fielder Shin-Soo Choo is 1-for-6 (.167) with three walks and a hit by pitch (.500 on-base percentage) against Kershaw.
Kershaw is 2-for-6 (.333) with an RBI against Rodriguez, one of just three left-handed pitchers against whom Kershaw has multiple career hits, joining Madison Bumgarner (3-for-12) and Cole Hamels (2-for-5, walk).
Kershaw's RBI against Rodriguez came on a suicide squeeze bunt in 2011, when Rodriguez was with the Astros, one of just two career runs batted in against lefties in his career. The other was an RBI single against Jason Vargas, then with the Mariners, in 2009.
Texas announced on Wednesday it will recall right-handed pitcher Anthony Ranaudo to start against the Dodgers on Thursday, pushing the rest of the Rangers' starting rotation back a day. The Rangers have a club record 12 straight quality starts for their rotation heading into Wednesday's game.
The Rangers will announce a corresponding move on Thursday.