Nationals @ Dodgers June 21, 2016: Yasiel Puig is back

The Dodgers go for the series win against the Nationals and their fifth straight victory on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. There are 19 games remaining for the Dodgers before the All-Star Break, and they look to ride this current hot streak into the second half while picking up some ground on the division-leading Giants.

Yasiel Puig is back in the lineup and hitting seventh after being reinstated from the disabled list. Carlos Frias was optioned back down to Triple-A Oklahoma City. A productive Puig potentially could add more fuel to the Dodgers’ recent offensive breakthrough should he turn things around like Justin Turner has. Before Puig landed on the DL with hamstring issues nearly three weeks ago, he was struggling at the plate even though he’s golden in right field. He’s hitting .237/.283/.360 with five home runs in 186 at-bats over 53 games.

7:10 p.m. PT
Los Angeles
 CF  Revere  2B  Utley
 LF  Werth  SS  Seager
 RF  Harper  3B  Turner
 2B  Murphy  1B  Gonzalez
1B  Zimmerman  LF  Kendrick
 C  Ramos  CF  Pederson
 3B  Rendon  RF  Puig
 SS  Espinosa  C  Grandal
Roark (R)
Kazmir (L)


The past two seasons Puig has not been the same player who burst onto the scene in 2013 and was an All-Star for the Dodgers in 2014. After numerous hamstring injuries and drama off the field, it seemed as though Puig’s fresh start this season was a positive change of direction. Unfortunately he has really struggled at the plate. Even with the emergence of Trayce Thompson as a everyday outfielder, Puig is still important to the Dodgers’ lineup which could use some more right-handed power.

Thompson, who started 20 consecutive games, is sitting in favor of Puig in right field.

The Dodgers really need a solid start from Scott Kazmir (5-3, 4.64) who is coming off a disappointing four-inning start against the Brewers. He’s allowed three runs on 15 hits over his last three starts and hasn’t lasted more than five innings in any of them. This has put extra stress on the Dodgers bullpen.

The veteran southpaw is 1-0 with a 4.35 ERA against the Nationals in two career starts. In typical Kazmir style, he allowed three home runs in those two games. He’s already allowed 12 home runs this year, the most on the Dodgers’ pitching staff. Kazmir has also walked the most batters on the team (31), allowed the most earned runs (40) and hits (69), has hit the most batters (6) and he’s tied with Ross Stripling and Alex Wood for most wild pitches (4).

Former Dodger Jayson Werth has five hits including a home run and four walks against Kazmir in 11 plate appearances. Werth went 1-for-4 with a single and two strikeouts against Clayton Kershaw.

Washington’s Tanner Roark (6-4, 3.14) has pitched against the Dodgers twice out of the bullpen. He allowed one run on two hits with three strikeouts in three innings of work vs. L.A.

The Nats have won each of his last four starts, and the right-hander has not lost a decision this month. Last time out against the Padres, Roark allowed four runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and two walks on 104 pitches over six innings.

Right-handers are hitting .280/.330/.377 against Roark, but he’s kept left-handers to a .192/.298/.253 line. Adrian Gonzalez hit a home run against him last July, and Puig has one hit in two at-bats vs. Roark.

In a special pregame ceremony, Eric Gagné will be on hand at Dodger Stadium to celebrate Kenley Jansen‘s 162nd save. Unfortunately Vin Scully is under the weather and will be resting his sore throat at home Tuesday night. Orel Hershiser and Charley Steiner will be calling the game on SportsNet LA with Kevin Kennedy and Rick Monday on radio.

Julio Urias will make at least two more starts for the Dodgers including Wednesday.

Yulieski Gurriel is visiting Los Angeles.

Camino a #LA talentosa actriz @ximenaduque y a q voy? Sorpresa jaja

A photo posted by Yulieski Gurriel 01 (@el_yuly10) on

Winning is fun. Keep it up, Dodgers.

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About Stacie Wheeler

Stacie Wheeler, born and raised in So Cal, has been writing about the Dodgers since 2010. She wrote daily as the co-editor of Lasorda's Lair for five long years, and she has also written for Dodgers Nation, Dodger Blue 1958 and The Hardball Times. She currently contributes to True Blue LA. Stacie graduated from the University Of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in Cinema-Television. You can also watch her videos on her YouTube channel, DishingUpTheDodgers.