Preview: Cody Bellinger Back At First Base, Dodgers Look To Bounce Back Against Padres
Cody Bellinger, Dodgers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With the Los Angeles Dodgers looking to bounce back from a loss to the San Diego Padres, they have Cody Bellinger making the first of what’s expected to be regular starts at first base to close out the regular season.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts acknowledged having Bellinger back in the infield should assist with shoring up what’s been shoddy play. Roberts is also confident the Dodgers’ struggles on defense are behind them.

“I’m putting it out into the universe that it’s over,” Roberts said.

The Dodgers have allowed 21 unearned runs in their past 16 games.

Alex Verudgo is back in center field as the Dodgers continue to monitor A.J. Pollock as he works to overcome a minor groin issue. Verdugo himself was dealing with injury, as he was scratched from the series opener because of left knee soreness.

As for matters on the mound, the Dodgers hand the ball to Walker Buehler. He’s 9-2 with a 3.38 ERA in 20 starts this season. Saturday is Buehler’s first time facing the Padres in 2019.

He was knocked around a bit in his last outing, though sloppy defense didn’t aid matters. Buehler has pitched well at Dodger Stadium, where he’s 4-0 with a 2.78 ERA in nine games.

San Diego counters with Cal Quantrill, who has been a valuable swingman in his rookie season. Quantrill has pitched to a 1.67 ERA in eight games (three starts) since June 23.

Dodgers lineup:

RF: Joc Pederson
2B: Max Muncy
3B: Justin Turner
1B: Cody Bellinger
SS: Corey Seager
C: Will Smith
CF: Alex Verdugo
LF: Matt Beaty
P: Walker Buehler

Padres lineup:

SS: Fernando Tatis Jr.
CF: Wil Myers
3B: Manny Machado
1B: Eric Hosmer
RF: Hunter Renfroe
LF: Josh Haylor
2B: Greg Garcia
C: Austin Hedges
P: Cal Quantrill