The Dodgers open their series against the Cubs on Monday night at Wrigley Field, and will have a red-hot Justin Turner at third base, starting for a fourth consecutive day for the first time all season.
Turner is hitting .333/.401/.579 with 12 doubles and a career-high nine home runs in 60 games this season, including three straight games with a home run over the weekend.
Turner has seized his opportunity and has started 23 of the club's last 31 games, including 21 times at third base. But the general plan by the Dodgers medical staff has been to not start Turner more than four or five times per week, trying to keep him healthy and productive.
It's hard to argue with the results so far this season, with Turner carrying over his stellar 2014 production into 2015 while also adding more power. But in that plan, Turner has started three days in a row seven times this year, never four games in a row until Monday.
Turner did start five straight games once, from May 25-30, but that included a day off mixed in between.
"I still have to be careful with him. That's why I tried to buy him a couple innings tonight," manager Don Mattingly said on Sunday. "He's swinging the bat good."
With a 10-1 lead on Sunday night, Turner was removed for the final two innings.
Turner has a hit in each of his last 22 starts, dating back to May 22, hitting .405/.453/.646 with seven doubles, four home runs, 16 RBI and 15 runs scored during those games.
The rest of the lineup changes were foretold on Sunday, with Andre Ethier sitting against the left-handed starter and getting a planned second game off in two days after a 2-for-18 slump. Scott Van Slyke starts in left field, batting sixth.
Jimmy Rollins, 5-for-8 in the last two games, gets a planned day off, with Kiké Hernandez at shortstop, batting seventh. A.J. Ellis catches Clayton Kershaw for a seventh straight time, and for the 12th time in 15 starts this season.
Dexter Fowler, batting leadoff and starting in center field for the Cubs, is 16-for-38 (.421) in his career against Kershaw, with two doubles, a triple and four walks. Fowler is second only to Troy Tulowitzki in career hits against Kershaw, and has nine hits in his last 17 at-bats against the Dodgers' ace.
Chris Denorfia is a career.273/.368/.606 hitter against Kershaw, one of three players with at least three home runs against him (Tulo also has three, Adam Dunn had four). Denorfia gets the start in right field, batting fifth. The right-hander is off to a good start, hitting .328/.369/.426 in 67 plate appearances in 2015, including 4-for-12 (.333) with four singles and a walk against lefties.
Cubs roster move
Matt Szczur was recalled from Triple-A Iowa and will start in left field for Chicago. Kyle Schwarber, who started all five games at designated hitter for the Cubs last week in interleague games at the Indians and Twins, was optioned back to Triple-A.