After getting a comeback win against the Colorado Rockies, spearheaded by a five-run ninth inning, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ offense disappeared during their seven-game homestand. It lent to a six-game losing streak, snapped only behind a complete-game shutout from Clayton Kershaw in a 1-0 victory.
The Dodgers opened a five-game road trip on Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Rays in their first visit to Tropicana Field since 2007. Tampa Bay started left-hander Matt Moore in the series opener, which correlated to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts stacking his lineup with right-handed batters.
Adrian Gonzalez and Joc Pederson were the two exceptions. Though in Gonzalez’s case, it was nothing new as the veteran first baseman has earned the right to start against same-side pitching. Pederson’s start was the first against a lefty this season.
Kiké Hernandez was the designated hitter and hit leadoff. According to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times, Roberts intends to have Justin Turner DH on Wednesday, insert Yasmani Grandal back into the lineup, and get Adrian Gonzalez off his feet against the Toronto Blue Jays:
Dave Roberts: Justin Turner to DH tomorrow for #Dodgers, Yasmani Grandal to C tomorrow. Adrian Gonzalez to DH 1 game in Toronto.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) May 3, 2016
Moreover, despite another lefty in Drew Smyly taking the hill for the Rays, Corey Seager will start, while Carl Crawford will not, per J.P. Hoornstra of the Daily News:
Roberts said that Corey Seager starts tomorrow. Carl Crawford will not.
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) May 3, 2016
With all five games on the road trip being played on turf, it’s plausible that Crawford sits out the entire road trip as he recently said playing on turf at Tropicana Field for nine seasons has led to injury trouble.
Crawford did pinch-hit in Tuesday’s win, reaching on an error in the ninth inning and scoring on Yasiel Puig’s three-run home run. Gonzalez has played the most games for the Dodgers so far this season, appearing in all 27 games (26 starts).
Howie Kendrick is the only Dodger who has faced both Smyly and Friday’s probable starter Marcus Stroman. He is 3-for-9 against Smyly and 2-for-3 against Stroman. Thus, Kendrick presumably will be in Friday’s lineup.