Mookie Betts is back in the Dodgers’ lineup for their series opener against the Padres on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium, after missing a game for getting hit by a pitch.
Betts was hit on the inner part of his right forearm by a 94.5-mph fastball in the ninth inning on Monday night, and sat out Tuesday’s finale in Seattle and got treatment. The Dodgers were off Wednesday. X-rays on his forearm were negative.
|CF||Grisham (L)||SS||Seager (L)|
|LF||Profar (S)||RF||McKinstry (L)|
“We dodged a bullet there,” said manager Dave Roberts on Tuesday.
Back tightness caused Betts to miss four games earlier in April, and he’s had planned days off in two other games, one after returning from the back tightness, though he played one inning of defense in right field in that game. In the 12 games Betts has played, he’s hitting .292/.414/.500 with four doubles and two home runs.
Betts is batting leadoff and playing center field on Thursday, with Corey Seager playing shortstop and hitting second. In 10 games with those two at the top of the order, the Dodgers are averaging six runs while going 7-3. That continues the trend from last year, when the Dodgers were 40-13 (.755) while averaging 6.28 runs per game with Betts and Seager hitting 1-2, including the postseason.
In the Dodgers’ eight other games this season, with one or both of Betts and Seager out of the lineup, they are averaging 4.25 runs per game.
The original lineup had Betts in right field, but he shifted to center with Chris Taylor scratched. Zach McKinstry moved from second base to right field, and Sheldon Neuse steps in to start at second base.
San Diego made a pair of roster moves before the series as well. Dinelson Lamet, who was activated Wednesday, only to be pulled after two innings with forearm tightness, is back on the injured list, as is reliever Keone Kela. The Padres recalled right-hander Nabil Crismatt and lefty Nick Ramirez for bullpen reinforcements.
The Padres, who like the Dodgers, are carrying 14 pitchers on the active roster, has three southpaws available in relief, with Drew Pomeranz, Tim Hill, and Ramirez.