Cody Bellinger is unavailable Tuesday against the A’s after getting spiked in the series opener, as the Dodgers await tests on his calf. Chris Taylor is out of the lineup as well one day after getting hit by a pitch on the elbow, though he’ll be available in limited capacity.
“Chris is feeling better today, and potentially could be used to run or play defense,” manager Dave Roberts said. “But extension, as far as his swing, he doesn’t feel great about that yet, so we’ll probably stay away from him in that capacity.”
These are the circumstances that led to Mookie Betts starting his first game in center field since joining the Dodgers. Betts played two innings in center field to finish off a game last year, but stuck almost exclusively to right field, save for a lone start at second base, which proved to be more indulgent than a harbinger. Center field though is nothing new for Betts, who started 187 games at the position with the Red Sox.
|SS||Seager (L)||DH||Lowrie (S)|
|2B||Lux (L)||1B||Moreland (L)|
|RF||McKinstry (L)||2B||Kemp (L)|
With Betts in center, Zach McKinstry gets the call in right field, and A.J. Pollock is in left. To finish Monday’s game, after Bellinger was spiked and left the game, Pollock shifted to center field wiith McKinstry in left.
“I just feel that with Clayton [Kershaw], most of the action is going to be out in left field and center field, so for [Betts] willing to go out there and play center and McKinstry in right made sense for tonight’s ballgame,” Roberts said. “You essentially lose, for tonight’s game, two center fielders in Cody and Chris, so tonight we’ll use the next-best option.”
Justin Turner takes his turn at designated hitter on Tuesday night, one day after hitting his first home run of the season. That was the fourth home run of his career in April, in 500 plate appearances. Turner’s career slugging percentage in April is .386, and .494 afterward. In the early going this year, Turner is 6-for-17 with a double, that home run, and two walks, hitting .353/.400/.588.
Edwin Ríos gets the call at third base in the middle game of the series against A’s right-hander Chris Bassitt, the second straight start for Ríos, who started at first base Monday.
The A’s made a few roster moves before Tuesday’s game, placing pitchers Burch Smith (strained right groin) and Reymin Guduan (sprained left thumb) on the 10-day injured list. Utility man Seth Brown and pitcher Jordan Weems were recalled.