LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers will take any offense they can get at this point, and the return of Corey Seager at shortstop might help in one specific department.
The Dodgers haven’t scored multiple runs in the first inning since Aug. 10 at Chase Field. They scored three runs on that night in a win over the Diamondbacks, before Arizona decided to never lose again.
|CF||Blackmon (L)||LF||Granderson (L)|
But in 26 games since, the Dodgers have scored six total runs in the first inning, single tallies in six different games.
On the season, the Dodgers have scored 76 runs in the first, their third highest-scoring inning, behind only the sixth (90 runs) and fourth (88) frames.
Seager is back batting second, and Justin Turner is batting third after getting a day off on Thursday. Add in Cody Bellinger at cleanup — the first time Bellinger and Seager have been in the same lineup since Aug. 19 — and the Dodgers have a chance to put up some early offense for a change.
But whenever they score, any runs would be welcome, for a team that has scored just three times in their last four games.
In their current 1-12 skid, the Dodgers have been outscored in the first inning 16-3, with their opponent scoring in the first inning in seven of 13 games.
Seager this season is hitting .382/.452/.627 with six home runs and seven doubles in the first inning. Turner is hitting .333/.406/.495 with three home runs and six doubles in the opening frame.
Joc Pederson gets his third straight start in center field, and with the recent spate of opposing right-handed starters, Austin Barnes gets a start at catcher, his 11th start against a right-hander this season.
“I love Austin behind the plate,” manager Dave Roberts said. “It’s more Austin’s at-bat quality has been good versus right, and versus left. And I felt Yasmani needed a day off.”
Barnes has started 33 games against left-handed pitchers, including the last nine straight and 14 of the last 16 against southpaws.
“It’s nice when you have two guys behind the plate that regardless of the handedness you feel very comfortable, and regardless of who’s pitching that the chemistry works,” Roberts said. “Now essentially not only using Austin as the guy that plays in day games after a night game, that you can run him out there against anyone, that’s a good thing.”