Slumping Loney ends skid with two hits
Dodgers first baseman James Loney is off to one of the worst starts of his career, and it could mean reduced playing time for the 28-year old if he doesn’t turn things around soon.
Loney was hitting just .211 through Tuesday with one home run and seven RBI, though he did go 2-for-4 in the 3-2 loss to the Giants on Tuesday to snap an 0-for-13 skid.
“It’s day-to-day with James. He’s been pretty solid with the approach,” said manager Don Mattingly before Monday’s game. “When you start getting beat down and not having success, you start tinkering a little bit. We have to try to get him right.”
Loney has been known to change his batting approach on occasion, but Mattingly said for the most part, he has remained consistent this season.
In 2011, Loney hit just .268/.311/.342 with four home runs and 31 RBI in 91 games before the All-Star break. Mattingly stuck with Loney, who rebounded by hitting .320/.380/.534 with eight home runs and 34 RBI in 67 games after the break. But Mattingly doesn’t sound like someone willing to wait as long for Loney to improve this season.
“To me, it’s gotten to the point where it’s a production thing. You’ve got to throw some numbers out there somehow, some way. It’s that simple,” Mattingly said. “I want to be patient but we have to try to win games too.”
Loney has sat for seven of the Dodgers’ 14 games against left-handed pitching this season, as he is just 3-for-28 (.107) against southpaws this season. Loney has started all 16 games so far against right-handers.
Gordon extends hitting streak to eight games
–SS Dee Gordon went 2-for-4 Tuesday night against the Giants to extend his hitting streak to eight games. Gordon is 10-for-32 during the streak (.313), and has seen his batting average rise from .207 to .237.
–OF/1B Juan Rivera left the game Tuesday night after feeling something in his left leg while sliding into third base in the seventh inning against the Giants. Rivera said he felt no pain but felt something similar to needles near the back of his left knee. Rivera will have an MRI on Wednesday.
–IF/OF Jerry Hairston Jr. felt continued improvement in his left hamstring Tuesday, and said that a trip to the disabled list is unlikely. But Hairston also knows the injury could take time to heal.
“Hamstrings are probably the toughest nagging injuries you can have. It’s not like a finger or wrist or something else,” Hairston said. “It’s a tricky thing. You have to make sure that when you come back you have to be right.”
–LHP Clayton Kershaw allowed just two runs in eight innings against the Giants on Tuesday, but suffered the loss, his first of the season. Kershaw had won 10 straight decisions dating back to Aug. 7, 2011 in Arizona.
–LHP Ted Lilly won his fourth straight decision Monday night, pitching six innings in a 9-1 triumph over the Giants. Lilly has allowed five earned runs in five starts in 2012, good for a 1.41 ERA.
–RF Andre Ethier drove in a pair of runs Monday night to give him 30 RBI on the season, through 29 games. In 2011, Ethier drove in his 30th run of the season in his 61st game, on June 7.
–The five runs scored in the eighth inning Monday night against the Giants were the most scored by the Dodgers in any one inning this season. The 9-1 win over the Giants on Monday was their largest margin of victory since beating the Pirates 15-1 on Sept. 18, 2011.
BY THE NUMBERS: 10 — Consecutive decisions won by LHP Clayton Kershaw, dating back to Aug. 7, 2011, before his loss Tuesday night against the Giants.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “I want to be patient but we have to try to win games too.” — Manager Don Mattingly, referring to the possibility of sitting 1B James Loney, who was hitting .211 with one home run and seven RBI through Tuesday.
–OF/1B Juan Rivera (leg injury) left the May 8 game. He will have an MRI on May 9.
–INF/OF Jerry Hairston Jr. (left hamstring strain) left the May 6 game in the second inning. He did not play May 7 and May 8.
–3B Juan Uribe (sore left wrist) did not start May 1-6, though he appeared as a pinch hitter May 4. He returned to the starting lineup May 7.
–2B Ivan De Jesus Jr. (torn left oblique) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26. He was activated and optioned to Class AAA Albuquerque on May 7.
–RHP Matt Guerrier (right elbow tendinitis) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 19.
–RHP Blake Hawksworth (arthroscopic right elbow surgeries in January 2012 and February 2012) went on the 60-day disabled list March 27.
–RHP Rubby De La Rosa (Tommy John surgery in August 2011) went on the 60-day disabled list March 26.