LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers have again loaded their lineup with right-handed bats against Giants southpaw Madison Bumgarner. including getting Justin Turner back at third base and another night off against a left-hander for Joc Pederson.
Turner was out of the starting lineup on Thursday as a precaution one night after getting hit by two pitches against the Diamondbacks, including one off his left hand. He did single as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning, driving in the first of five runs in the Dodgers' winning rally.
Trayce Thompson gets the call in center field over Pederson, as he has against all left-handed starters to date, four of 11 games in total, including Bumgarner for a second time on Friday night. Manager Dave Roberts has said Pederson isn't in a platoon in center field, but so far it has played out like one. But again, we are talking about only three different left-handed starters, so it could be a matchup thing.
"It's still so early. My mentality is to keep everyone involved, keep some momentum from spring training," Roberts said.
Corey Seager also gets a day off, as he did last Saturday when Bumgarner started in San Francisco. Seager has started the other nine games this season. In all of 58 career plate appearances against left-handed pitchers, Seager is hitting .265/.362/.408 so far in the majors.
Charlie Culberson gets the call at shortstop in place of Seager, with Howie Kendrick back at second base.
A.J. Ellis starts at catcher, as he did against most left-handed starting pitchers in 2015, meaning Yasmani Grandal sits for a third time in four games since getting activated from the disabled list.
Kike Hernandez bats leadoff in left field, the Dodgers' primary weapon against southpaws this season and last. Hernandez is 5-for-8 (.625) with a double so far against lefties this season and is 7-for-13 (.538) with three doubles and a homer in his career against Bumgarner.
Since the start of 2015, the Dodgers will have faced Bumgarner seven times after Friday night, and have had right-handers as 48 of 56 (85.7 percent) starting position players. five of the eight starts by lefties are Adrian Gonzalez, who is just 7-for-45 against Bumgarner, a career .156/.191/.200 hitter against him, including 3-for-10 (.300) with two walks since the start of 2015.
Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig have started every game so far this season, and with Monday's scheduled off day Gonzalez will likely continue to start, at least until the club returns home from next week's road trip.
"Adrian feels good, and it's been nice with the calendar. He's been [seven] on, one off, six on, one off, and we'll evaluate when we get back from the road trip," Roberts said. "He's a luxury you count on because he posts every day."
Roberts said Gonzalez, who has averaged 159 games played over the last 10 years, would likely get a day off in one of the first two games against the Marlins, a series that begins on April 25.
Left-handers against Bumgarner in his career have hit .211/.250/.314, including a .539 OPS in both 2014 and 2015. So far this year, lefties are 2-for-8 with a home run and a walk. Both the home run and walk came from Scooter Gennett of the Brewers. The Dodgers have the other seven plate appearances, and are 1-for-7, with the hit belonging to Gonzalez.