As Jimmy Rollins slumped his way through the Los Angeles Dodgers’ first 20 games of the season, manager Don Mattingly made a change atop the batting order for the rubber match in the three-game series against the San Francisco Giants.
The overhaul included moving Joc Pederson up from the eighth spot, where he’s spent most of the season, to leadoff, and dropped Rollins to second. Additionally, Howie Kendrick and Adrian Gonzalez swapped spots so the second baseman was batting third and Gonzalez cleanup.
Pederson again was hitting leadoff Friday night when the Dodgers began a three-game home series with the Arizona Diamondbacks. They faced former Dodger prospect Rubby De La Rosa, who found himself in hot water in the second inning with the Diamondbacks already trailing 1-0 after Justin Turner’s solo home run in the inning.
De La Rosa then gave up a single to Andre Ethier and issued consecutive walks to load the bases with no outs. After easily striking out Carlos Frias, De La Rosa’s next pitch was to Pederson, who hit his first career grand slam to extend the Dodgers’ lead to 5-0.
The grand slam was the first by a Dodger since Yasiel Puig on June 6, 2013. As for Pederson, it’s his fifth home run of the season and second in as many games as the Dodgers leadoff hitter. Pederson’s first career home run in the Majors coincidentally also came against the Diamondbacks.