On the heels of a disappointing 5-4 loss in Monday’s opener, the Los Angeles Dodgers look to bounce back and even up the series against the San Diego Padres. They’ll attempt to do so without Mookie Betts, who is out of the lineup for a second consecutive day.
Betts is on the mend after suffering a minor injury to his left middle finger that caused him to be removed from Sunday’s win against the Arizona Diamondbacks. X-rays came back negative, but the 27-year-old is currently dealing with “significant swelling”.
However, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts revealed Betts is healthy enough to potentially enter the game as a defensive replacement. “Yeah, there’s a possibility I might use him on defense,” Roberts said prior to Monday’s loss.
“Maybe it’s a situation where the game dictates there’s a couple innings of defense, his spot would’ve already passed. Something like that potentially.”
As for Tuesday’s contest, the Dodgers send Dustin May to the mound for his third start of the season. The right-hander has taken advantage of his opportunity to stick in the starting rotation after filling in for Clayton Kershaw on Opening Day.
May allowed just one run in his 2020 debut against the San Francisco Giants and followed up that performance by limiting the Houston Astros to one run in his most recent start. All-in-all, he owns a 2.35 ERA, 2.00 FIP and 1.57 WHIP with seven strikeouts in 7.2 innings pitched on the year.
Roberts said “strike efficiency” is key for May to succeed in getting through a lineup he third time.
In four career appearances against the Padres (two starts), May has accumulated an 0-2 record, 3.46 ERA and 1.08 WHIP with nine strikeouts against one walk across 13 innings pitched.
The Padres counter with Dinelson Lamet, who similarly has jumped out to an impressive start this season. Over his first two outings, he has pitched to a 1-0 record with a 1.80 ERA, 1.84 FIP and 1.40 WHIP in 10 innings.
With Betts out of the Dodgers lineup for a second consecutive game, Joc Pederson again is slotted atop the order. Pederson hit his 21st career leadoff home run on Monday night, doing so on the first pitch of the game.
Considering Max Muncy has struggled to get comfortable in the leadoff spot, Roberts acknowledged he would consider having Pederson there instead against right-handed starters.
Corey Seager is again the designated hitter as the Dodgers remain cautious with his recovery from a left quad issue. “Just to give him another day to stay off his legs, take more at-bats, we feel good about that,” Roberts explained.
RF: Joc Pederson
2B: Max Muncy
3B: Justin Turner
CF: Cody Bellinger
SS: Corey Seager
LF: Matt Beaty
1B: Edwin Rios
SS: Kiké Hernandez
C: Austin Barnes
SS: Fernando Tatis Jr.
CF: Trent Grisham
3B: Manny Machado
DH: Tommy Pham
1B: Jake Cronenworth
LF: Abraham Almonte
2B: Greg Garcia
C: Francisco Mejia
RF: Josh Naylor
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