The Los Angeles Dodgers lineup has often fluctuated under manager Dave Roberts, but one change not particularly seen until last month was Justin Turner batting sixth.
He hit from there on Sept. 24 for the first time since 2018, though that was an appearance off the bench. Prior to the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Turner had last started and hit sixth in the lineup in 2015, doing so twice.
“I think a lot of guys are interchangeable,” Roberts said of the change. “I talked to Justin about it, just to give him a heads up, and it doesn’t bother him. He didn’t bat an eye and he’s ready to help us win a ballgame regardless of where he hits in the order.”
After four consecutive starts in the six-hole, Turner hit cleanup in the series opener against the Milwaukee Brewers but dropped back down to fifth on Saturday.
The recent moving around in the lineup hasn’t had an adverse affect on Turner, as he hit a three-run home run against Corbin Burnes in the first inning.
“It’s just a fun lineup to be in,” he said. “It doesn’t matter where we’re at, who’s coming up or what the situation is, it’s an offense that’s capable of making guys work a ton, make guys throw the ball over the plate, and we can score pretty fast in a lot of different ways.
“It’s been really fun playing with a whole lineup.”
Turner’s home run was his 27th of the season, which tied a career high he initially set in 2016 and reached again in 2019.
“He’s really come to life over the last few nights, which has been good for us,” Roberts said.
Turner not worrying about NL West
With their sixth consecutive victory, the Dodgers remained alive in the National League West race. They need another win Sunday, along with a loss from San Francisco Giants. All games across the sport are scheduled to begin at 12:10 p.m. PT.
“Whatever it says on the scoreboard doesn’t affect what we have to do,” Turner said. “Obviously it will be up there, it will be there for everyone to see who looks at it, but the bottom line is we have to take care of our business and go out and win a ballgame.
“That’s all that matters. If we don’t win, it doesn’t matter what anyone else does.”
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