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Dodgers stay the course vs. Diamondbacks

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Dodgers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers active roster remains the same heading into Friday’s game against the Diamondbacks. Still carrying a short bench and eight relievers, and the same eight relievers.

Onward, I guess.

The one small change is Matt Kemp moving up to third in the batting order after hitting fourth, fifth and sixth all year. Kemp has three straight multi-hit games and is hitting .355/.412/.548 (11-for-31).

Starting lineups

Pos D-backs Pos Dodgers
Pos D-backs Pos Dodgers
LF Peralta (L) CF Taylor
2B Marte (S) SS Seager (L)
1B Goldschmidt LF Kemp
3B Descalso (L) 1B Bellinger (L)
RF Owings C Grandal (S)
CF Dyson (L) RF Puig
SS Ahmed 3B Forsythe
C Mathis 2B Hernandez
P Greinke P Maeda
Time: 7:10 p.m. PT TV: SportsNet LA, KTLA

It’s the first time Kemp has batted third for the Dodgers since Aug. 27, 2014, which was also against the Diamondbacks, but in Arizona.

“He’s been swinging the bat well,” manager Dave Roberts said. “He has a lot of history against Greinke.”

That history against Greinke hasn’t exactly been good, with Kemp just 6-for-29 (.207) with a home run and three walks against him.

For all the clamoring to bring up Andrew Toles, it’s unclear exactly what that would solve at this point, not that it would be a bad idea. Kemp is one of the few Dodgers seeing any results at the plate and is basically an everyday player at this point, even against right-handers, so there isn’t much playing time to be had in the outfield.

Joc Pederson is 4-for-12 against Greinke, and all four hits (three doubles, home run) are for extra bases, for instance, and he’s not starting Friday.

For the Dodgers to snap out of their 4-7 skid, hitting just .233/.293/.348, the main cogs need to start producing.

“I do believe that there is some hard contact in play that hasn’t been rewarded. If that consistently shows up, that will change,” Roberts said. “But I still think that one through eight we can be better with our at-bat quality.”

Then again it could be worse. Daniel Descalso, a career .239/.318/.360 (81 OPS+) hitter, is batting cleanup for Arizona, the first time in his career he is hitting fourth. He is 5-for-28 (.179) in 2018 with one home run. That home run came against the Dodgers, and Clayton Kershaw no less.