When explaining why Joc Pederson was made the
The manager barely mentioned another part of Pederson's game that could be useful when batting first: his power.
Pederson used that power to establish a night-long theme for the Dodgers in his first at-bat Wednesday night, as he redirected a first-inning offering from
By claiming two wins in the three-game series against the Giants, the first-place Dodgers (13-8) extended their lead over the second-place
Pederson batted eighth in 14 of his previous 18 starts. He batted seventh in the other four games.
"There have been some injuries. You kind of have to adapt," the rookie said. "I was trying to get something going."
Said Mattingly: "Really, the eighth spot is designed to allow him to not feel any offensive pressure at all, just be able to play and do his thing. I think we're probably comfortable after a month that this is not going to change anything."
The left-handed-hitting Pederson entered the game Wednesday with an on-base percentage of .458, which ranked third in the
"Obviously, he's handled that eighth spot," Mattingly said. "It's really a tough spot for a young player, with that pitcher behind you. We're not asking him to do anything differently. I know everybody makes a big deal out of lineup changes and things, but you're not doing anything differently."
Shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who batted leadoff in 18 of the Dodgers' previous 20 games, was batting only .182.
With Yasiel Puig and
Rollins, a switch-hitter, was dropped to second.
Not wanting to bundle too many left-handed hitters near the top of the order, Mattingly moved Gonzalez from third to cleanup. Gonzalez traded places in the lineup with
"If he can just simplify it, he's going to be fine," Mattingly said of the catcher. "I feel like he's trying really hard."
The home-run parade that ensued probably was more of reflection of Vogelsong than it was of lineup.
Now four years removed from his All-Star season, Vogelsong came into the game with a 7.71 earned-run average. In 16 1/3 innings, he had given up four home runs.
Vogelsong's second pitch to Pederson on Wednesday night turned into Pederson's fourth homer of the season.
Three batters later, Gonzalez belted his seventh home run of the season to move the Dodgers in front, 2-1. The first-inning thumping continued with a two-run home run by Ethier that increased the Dodgers' lead to 4-1.
Rollins hit a leadoff home run of his own in the third inning. Kendrick scored later in the inning on a sacrifice fly by
The inning was the last pitched by Vogelsong, who was charged with six runs and five hits. The 37-year-old right-hander departed the game with an ERA of 9.31.
Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke, who limited the Giants to three runs and seven hits over six innings, improved his record to 4-0.