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Yasmani Grandal adjusts, has strong game at the plate in Dodgers win

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- Yasmani Grandal was in the middle of the Dodgers' offensive push on Monday night, helping them to a 4-1 win over the Rockies at Dodger Stadium.

Grandal drove in the Dodgers first run with a sacrifice fly in the second inning, then singled in his next two at-bats, the first hit registering at 112 mph off the bat. Even when he made an out in the eighth inning, Grandal hit a liner to center field.

"Hitting the ball hard four times today was definitely a confidence builder," Grandal said.

He's been dealing inflammation in his left (non-throwing) shoulder, something that first popped up when the Dodgers were on the road in Pennsylvania over five weeks ago. It finally got to a point last week where Grandal needed to rest for several days so the inflammation could calm down.

Grandal rested for six days, then played on Saturday in Arizona, walking twice in that game.

"I know he came out of the game the other day good. He wasn't on the report with having more shoulder soreness," manager Don Mattingly said before Monday's game. "They limited his swings in the cage."

Grandal even made a change to his approach while batting.

"We've been working a little bit on a couple different things to change the hitting stance so it doesn't put so much strain on the shoulder," Grandal said. "We have some inflammation in there, and it kind of calmed down already."

With left-handed pitchers starting Tuesday and Wednesday for the Rockies, Grandal might get even more rest over the next few days. At least he won't have to hear about the streak anymore from dorks on Twitter.

Grandal's fourth-inning single snapped an 0-for-36 skid for Grandal, and was his first hit since Aug. 16, with 28 days and 12 starts in between hits.

"I guess Eric is not going to have to keep counting down, or counting up on Twitter," he said.

Grandal struck out 17 times in 45 plate appearances during the skid, but it wasn't all empty. He walked eight times and was hit by a pitch once. On the season, Grandal is tied for second on the team with 58 walks.

"I've been on pretty bad ones. I think last year I was 5 for 70-something, but I don't really look into it," Grandal said. "I know I'm going to get out of it at some point."

I found a 7-for-65 skid he had in 2014. From that point forward, he hit .249/.356/.426 in 76 games the rest of the way.

Even with the streak, now over, Grandal is hitting .255/.369/.432 on the season, with a .352 wOBA and 126 wRC+ that both rank second among major league catchers with at least 250 plate appearances in 2015.

"The main thing for me was building that confidence in my new hitting stance, and knowing that my shoulder is okay," Grandal said.

Up next

The Dodgers send Brett Anderson to the mound on Tuesday night with a full eight days rest under his belt. The Rockies counter with Chris Rusin, one of a potentially long line of left-handed starters the Dodgers will face this week.