Preview: A.J. Pollock Remains Out Of Lineup Due To Groin Issue, Clayton Kershaw & Dodgers Go For Fourth Straight Win Vs. Cardinals
Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder A.J. Pollock rounds the bases after hitting a home run
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

With Alex Verdugo landing on the 10-day injured list due to a right oblique strain, the Los Angeles Dodgers enter Tuesday against the St. Louis Cardinals down another key position player.

Additionally, A.J. Pollock misses his second straight game due to a groin issue. Pollock again was testing the groin prior to batting practice, and the Dodgers hope to have him back in the lineup for the series finale.

Khristopher Negrón and Matt Beaty again start in center field and left field, respectively, with Joc Pederson in right. Cody Bellinger also makes his second start at first base since Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced the MVP candidate would see more time there as Pederson returned to the outfield on a full-time basis.

Bellinger hit a towering three-run home run in the first inning on Monday night, already his third homer in the month of August. He had previously been slumping, with no home runs from July 17-31.

Clayton Kershaw takes the mound for the Dodgers against 2018 National League All-Star Miles Mikolas, who has taken a step back in his second season in St. Louis.

Kershaw’s most infamous starts against the Cardinals came in the postseason when he went a combined 0-4 against them in the 2013 NL Championship Series and 2014 NL Division Series. But the Cardinals have still given the Dodgers ace a relatively tough challenge throughout his career in the regular season as well.

Kershaw’s 3.07 ERA in 111 innings against St. Louis is his highest against any NL team besides the Colorado Rockies.

Mikolas became a shocking redemption story last season, his first in the Major Leagues since 2014, after which he spent time playing overseas. He led the NL in wins with 18 and recorded a 2.83 ERA, earning some Cy Young votes.

However, Mikolas has taken a step back in 2019, entering Tuesday’s game with a 4.00 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 7-11 record. He owns a 3.86 ERA in 9.1 career innings against the Dodgers, all of which came during his first stint in the Major Leagues with the San Diego Padres and Texas Rangers.

Edwin Rios returns to the Dodgers’ active roster, earning a promotion from Triple-A Oklahoma City to replace Verdugo among the team’s position players.

The Dodgers also optioned Tony Gonsolin after his six shutout innings against the Cardinals on Monday and brought up Caleb Ferguson to take his place. The move is likely only a temporary one to maximize the depth on the Dodgers’ pitching staff between starts for Gonsolin.

Dodgers lineup:

RF: Joc Pederson
2B: Max Muncy
3B: Justin Turner
1B: Cody Bellinger
SS: Corey Seager
C: Will Smith
LF: Matt Beaty
CF: Khristopher Negrón
P: Clayton Kershaw

Cardinals lineup:

CF: Dexter Fowler
RF: Jose Martinez
1B: Paul Goldschmidt
LF: Marcell Ozuna
SS: Paul DeJong
3B: Matt Carpenter
2B: Tommy Edman
C: Andrew Kizner
P: Miles Mikolas