A slumping Adrian Gonzalez takes a seat on Sunday night, with the Dodgers trying to snap a two-game losing streak in the third of four games against the Pirates in this wraparound weekend at PNC Park.
Gonzalez is hitting just .263/.337/.372 with six home runs and 11 doubles in 72 games this season, including just .183/.244/.268 with one home run in 22 games in June.
Adrian Gonzalez is getting two days off as a mental break, Dave Roberts said.— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) June 26, 2016
Not hurt, said Roberts, just overall batting approach needs to "reset."— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) June 26, 2016
Scott Van Slyke gets the start at first base on Sunday night.
Clayton Kershaw for the third time in his career will face a starting pitcher making his major league debut, with Chad Kuhl getting the call for Pittsburgh.
Kershaw took the loss in Arizona on April 11, 2015, allowing six runs while Archie Bradley threw six scoreless innings in his debut. The other occurrence of a starter making his debut against Kershaw came at PNC Park on June 15, 2013, with Brandon Cumpton allowing three runs in five innings for the Pirates.
In that game, Kershaw allowed one run in seven innings and left with a 3-1 lead, but Chris Withrow allowed a run in the eighth and Kenley Jansen allowed a run in the ninth, sending the game into extra innings. The Dodgers would win in 11 innings, rallying for two runs off Vin Mazzaro.
What stands out in those two Kershaw starts was that he walked three batters in each game.
Kershaw in 2016 has seven total walks, with no more than three walks in any single month. Kershaw last walked three batters in a start over a year ago, on June 12, 2015 in San Diego. Since then, Kershaw has 27 walks in 35 starts, with 330 strikeouts during that span, and in each of his last 18 starts has walked zero or one batter.
Kuhl, 23, was 6-2 with a 2.58 ERA in 14 starts for Triple-A Indianapolis, with 59 strikeouts against 16 walks in 76... innings. The right-hander, drafted by Pittsburgh in the ninth round in 2013, has increased his strikeouts and decreased his walks in 2016. After seasons with a K-BB% of 9.3 percent and 9.7 percent, Kuhl is up to 13.7 percent this season.
Pittsburgh roster move
To add Kuhl, the Pirates optioned relief pitcher Kyle Lobstein to Triple-A Indianapolis, and designated pitcher Curtis Partch for assignment.