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Dodgers lineup: AJ Pollock returns to team after trip home to Arizona

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AJ Pollock is back in the Dodgers’ lineup Sunday after returning home to Arizona to take his daughter, Maddi, home from the hospital with his wife, Katie.

Maddi was born three months premature in March. She weighed less than two pounds and spent months in the neonatal intensive care unit. Complicating matters, Pollock tested positive for the novel coronavirus in June and couldn’t see Maddi for 14 days. Katie Pollock didn’t test positive but was required to stay away from their daughter for 10 days.

The positive test forced Pollock to report late to training camp. He was the Dodgers’ first-ever designated hitter at Dodger Stadium on opening day and will start as the designated hitter again Sunday against the San Francisco Giants.

With Giants left-hander Drew Smyly slated to start, the Dodgers moved Mookie Betts back into the leadoff spot and Max Muncy down to the two-hole. Manager Dave Roberts said the team will flip the two depending on the opposing starting pitcher’s handedness “for the foreseeable future.”

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The Dodgers fall 5-4 to the Giants, committing too many mistakes after picking up comfortable victories in the first two games of the season.

Muncy said he isn’t comfortable batting first while Betts has said he strongly prefers the leadoff spot. The Dodgers could shift gears after dealing with the Giants, a club seemingly more willing to deploy pitchers aggressively than most teams. The Dodgers next face the Houston Astros on Tuesday.

Julio Urías will make his 2020 debut on the mound for the Dodgers on Sunday.

Sunday’s starting lineups

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Julio Urías — Starting pitcher

Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias.
(Kent Nishimura; Allison Hong / Los Angeles Times)

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1. Mookie Betts — Right field

Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts.
(Kent Nishimura; Allison Hong / Los Angeles Times)

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2. Max Muncy — First base

Dodgers infielder Max Muncy
(Kent Nishimura; Allison Hong / Los Angeles Times)

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3. Justin Turner — Third base

Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner
(Kent Nishimura; Allison Hong / Los Angeles Times)

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4. Cody Bellinger — Center field

Dodgers first baseman/outfielder Cody Bellinger.
(Kent Nishimura; Allison Hong / Los Angeles Times)

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5. Chris Taylor — Left field

Dodgers utility player Chris Taylor.
(Kent Nishimura; Allison Hong / Los Angeles Times)

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6. Corey Seager — Shortstop

Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager.
(Kent Nishimura; Allison Hong / Los Angeles Times)

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7. Kiké Hernández — Second base

Dodgers utility player Kike Hernandez.
(Kent Nishimura; Allison Hong / Los Angeles Times)

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8. AJ Pollock — Designated hitter

Dodgers outfielder AJ Pollock.
(Kent Nishimura; Allison Hong / Los Angeles Times)

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9. Will Smith — Catcher

Dodgers catcher Will Smith.
(Kent Nishimura; Allison Hong / Los Angeles Times)