Cody Bellinger is back in the lineup for the first time since Friday, after missing the better part of two games with left hamstring tightness. Bellinger starts at first base rather than roaming the spacious outfield at Oracle Park in San Francisco.
“It’s definitely a short-term play,” said manager Dave Roberts, who noted Bellinger would likely play first base again on Wednesday, and possibly Thursday too, depending on how he feels.
It’s the first game this season at first base for Bellinger, but he’s quite familiar with the position. He started 16 games there in 2020 and had 28 starts there in 2019. First base was his primary position in his first two major league seasons (2017-18), and he’s started 212 times at first before Tuesday’s game.
Bellinger is hitting just .161/.274/.282 this year, and has spent more games on the injured list (56) than he’s been active (46, including Tuesday). Bellinger felt tightness in his left hamstring during Friday’s game against the Rockies at Dodger Stadium, leaving after having a double and triple, his first multi-hit game in six weeks and his first game with multiple extra-base hits all season.
With the goal of keeping him healthy and to not push the hamstring, the Dodgers don’t want Bellinger to overextend himself for the next few games.
“We’re putting him at first base. It takes away some of the ground he’s got to cover,” Roberts said. “When there’s a ball in play, be smart and play with the governor. That’s fine by me.”
He missed Saturday’s game against the Rockies, and was limited to pinch-hitting duties on Sunday, grounding out in the seventh inning.
With Bellinger at first base, AJ Pollock starts in center field and Max Muncy starts at second base in his first game back off paternity leave. Muncy has eight home runs in 13 games against the Giants this season.
San Francisco added a long reliever in a roster move before Tuesday’s game. Literally, by activating left-hander Sammy Long from the injured list. Right-hander Zack Littell was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento.
Teams: Dodgers (61-40) at Giants (62-37)
Location: Oracle Park
Time: 6:45 p.m.
TV: SportsNet LA