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Yasiel Puig moves up to 6th in batting order, Joc Pederson hits 8th

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MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Cleveland Indians
“You’re eighth now.”
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Just two days and one game after saying he wasn’t likely to change the lineup, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts shuffled the deck a bit before Tuesday’s series opener against the White Sox.

Yasiel Puig, who has started in the eighth spot 56 times this season, is batting sixth on Tuesday, with Joc Pederson -- in a 1-for-35 slump -- is hitting eighth. Puig in the last 38 games batted higher than eighth just four times — batting seventh three times, and sixth once.

Puig is hitting .278/.362/.546 with 14 home runs out of the eighth spot this season, and on Sunday Roberts noted how much he thrived in that spot, even saying, “It’s not something that hasn’t crossed my mind but right now I’m not prepared to move Yasiel.”

Two days later, that changed.

Pederson was hitting .248/.359/.481 through July 28, when his current slump began, which dropped his season numbers to .216/.330/.420.

Starting lineups

Pos White Sox Pos Dodgers
Pos White Sox Pos Dodgers
SS Anderson LF Taylor
3B Saladino SS Seager (L)
1B Abreu 3B Turner
RF A.Garcia 1B Bellinger (L)
C Smith C Grandal (S)
LF L.Garcia (S) RF Puig
2B Moncada (S) 2B Forsythe
CF Engel CF Pederson (L)
P Gonzalez P Wood
Time: 7:10 p.m. PT TV: SportsNet LA, MLB Network

Well rested

The Dodgers have made sure to rest players whenever possible throughout the season, such that Puig (111 games played out of 117) and Corey Seager (108 games) are the only two players can even reach 150 games* played in 2017.

*Another quirk is that Kiké Hernandez is third on the team with 103 games played, though just 56 of them are starts.

Since the All-Star break, that rest has been built into the schedule, with five off days in the last 32 days, plus another off day coming Thursday. As such, the club has been able to rely on its main four hitters over the last month.

Cody Bellinger starts his 31st consecutive game on Tuesday, Seager starts his 28th consecutive game, Chris Taylor starts his 20th straight, and Justin Turner starts his 11th straight and 19th of the last 20 games.

Sox transaction

With reliever Tyler Clippard traded to the Astros on Sunday night, the White Sox filled their open active roster spot by reinstating pitcher Dylan Covey from the disabled list on Tuesday. Covey was a Rule 5 pick from Oakland in December, and started the season in Chicago’s rotation, putting up an 8.12 ERA in eight starts. the right-hander has been sidelined since May.