LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers try to close out their opening series against the Padres with a win on getaway day, and will look for Adrian Gonzalez to continue his hot start against his old team on Thursday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.
It’s only three games, but Gonzalez so far is 3-for-8 (.375) with a pair of doubles and three walks.
At the very least, it is a good sign after dealing with tendinitis in his right elbow during spring training. He was shut down from swinging a bat for two weeks because of the elbow, then missed a little over a week at the World Baseball Classic. Gonzalez even had some soreness in the elbow after returning and missed a few days, but there was still plenty of time for him to get ready for the season, even if he played in a total of just 15 games in spring training and the WBC combined.
Both doubles so far have been hit to left field, which is usually a good sign for Gonzalez, when he is hitting the ball to the opposite field with authority. He beat the shift another time with a line drive through a vacant left side.
“He is still taking aggressive passes at the baseball. Last year he got a little bit, trying to hit the grounder to the other side trying to beat the shift,” manager Dave Roberts said Wednesday. “Now, with his aggressiveness — he has hit a couple doubles, and almost hit one out tonight — that just shows that he does feel healthy.”
Since the beginning of 2015, Gonzalez is hitting .309/.404/.576 against his old team, the Padres.
Day games galore
Thursday marks a run of three day games for the Dodgers in the next four days, including two of the three games in Colorado, and Friday’s Rockies home opener.
With the day game after the night game, catcher Yasmani Grandal and third baseman Justin Turner are out of the lineup in the series finale against the Padres, with Austin Barnes behind the plate, Logan Forsythe moving from second to third base, and Chase Utley making his first start of the season, at second base.
Utley is 4-for-10 against Padres starter Jered Weaver, including 2-for-4 last season.
Switch-hitting catcher Hector Sanchez starts for the Padres in their only lineup change of the series.
Time: 12:10 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA