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Howie Kendrick, Yasmani Grandal activated from DL for Dodgers home opener

Harry How/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers welcomed reinforcements back on Tuesday, activating infielder Howie Kendrick and catcher Yasmani Grandal from the disabled list before their home opener against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium.

To make room on the active roster, Scott Van Slyke was placed on the 15-day disabled list with lower back irritation (more on that shortly). On Monday, the Dodgers cleared one spot by sending infielder Micah Johnson down to Triple-A as well.

The Dodgers were able to back date the disabled list stints for both Grandal and Kendrick to March 25, meaning they could have missed as few as five games if needed. By waiting through Monday's off day and the home opener, the duo missed seven games.

Kendrick is in the starting lineup for Tuesday's home opener, playing second base and hitting fifth. Grandal is not starting, with A.J. Ellis at catcher against left-hander Patrick Corbin.

Manager Dave Roberts said Grandal would be available to pinch hit on Tuesday and that he liked the matchup of Grandal against either Tyler Clippard or Brad Ziegler. Roberts said Grandal will start at catcher on Wednesday, with Ellis back behind the plate on Thursday against southpaw Robbie Ray.

Kendrick, dealing with a strained left calf, was 5-for-15 (.333) with three doubles in four games on his rehab assignment with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga. He played one game at third base, two at second base and once at designated hitter.

Grandal played four games on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City through Sunday, catching three games and serving once as the designated hitter. He was 3-for-9 (.333) with a home run, a pair of walks and two sacrifice flies.

Coming off left shoulder surgery in the offseason, Grandal opened the year on the disabled list with right forearm soreness that cropped up at various times during spring training. Just before camp broke in Arizona, Grandal wanted to be 100 percent before returning.

"The one thing you don't want to start the season on April 4, play a couple days, then all of a sudden it comes back and you lose more," Grandal said on March 30. "I'll be fine even if I don't start the first week of the season. I know they're trying to make sure that it doesn't come back at all during the season. I'm not really worried about it."

Lineup notes

Kenta Maeda at the plate, should he get a hit on Tuesday, would be the sixth Dodgers pitcher since 1913 with a hit in each of his first two career games. The last was Eric Gagne in 1999.

Maeda on the mound will be introduced to Paul Goldschmidt, who has terrorized the Dodgers to the tune of .340/.405/.622 in his career. That includes a whopping .397/.463/.808 in 2015, with six doubles, eight home runs and 19 RBI in 19 games.

The 19 RBI were the most by a Dodgers opponent in a season since Goldschmidt himself in 2013, when he drove in 21. The eight home runs by Goldschmidt in 2015 were the most against the Dodgers since 2004, when peas in a pod Barry Bonds and Vinny Castilla each did the same.

Since the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1958, the only opponents with more home runs in a season against them are Willie Mays (12 in 1958), Luis Gonzalez (11 in 2001), Ernie Banks (10 in 1959), Ken Boyer (nine in 1960) and Gene Freese (nine in 1961)