Jedd Gyorko, who opened the season hitting .163, is out of the lineup for the third straight game.
The Padres are +107 money line underdogs at home against the Dodgers.Analysis:
Howard moved back to the No. 5 spot in the order for just the second time this season. Utley returned to his regular No. 3 spot, while Ruiz batted seventh, followed by Galviz eighth.
Philadelphia is considered a slight underdog (+105) at home against Atlanta, per VegasInsider.com.Analysis:
Kendrick was acquired in a trade that sent him from the Angels to the Dodgers in exchange for Andrew Heaney. Though it's been only 15 games, the Dodgers already love him and see him as a great cubhouse fit. Kendrick is batting .321 (18 for 56) with six doubles, one triple, two homers and 10 RBI this season.Analysis:
"We think a lot of Spangy with the bat," manager Bud Black said before Thursday's game, per MLB.com. "He's hit wherever he's been, so that doesn't surprise us when he gets his hits, even though his average is down."
Spangenberg knocked a ground-rule double to lead off the seventh inning Tuesday, eventually coming around to score a key run. He then drove in the go-ahead run with a double Wednesday, but the Padres were unable to hang on for the win.
"He threw a backdoor cutter, sort of gave up on it. It was a good pitch," Spangenberg said of Wednesday's go-ahead at-bat. "And then he went to a two-seamer changeup, and I didn't try to do too much with it. I just took what he gave me."
The two doubles have Spangenberg's line up to .250/.250/.417 in 12 at-bats.
"We think eventually he's going to be a guy in the major leagues who's going to be an offensive producer with average and maybe some stolen bases," Black said. "There's some extra-base hits in there too. We like Cory, and we think there's a bat in there. There's some hits in there. "Analysis:
Murphy had a bases-clearing double off Braves ace Julio Teheran in the first inning. He added an RBI single off Luis Avilan in the seventh inning.
Thursday was the 10th time in Murphy's career he had at least four RBI in a game. He has had a career-high five RBI three times.
Thursday also marked the first time this season he had a multihit and multi-RBI game. He entered play batting just .140 through 15 games.Analysis:
"It's never easy. Being an everyday player his whole career, it's not easy to learn how to do it," Williams said, per MASNsports.com. "The objective when he walks up there is to be him and not try to be something that he is not. His thought process when he goes up there is (to) get a good one to hit and whack it like he always does.
"He'll be aggressive from the first pitch, like he always hit. It's been the last three games, but it doesn't mean it'll be all the time either. He'll get some starts as well. Last night, we needed to get T-Mo (Tyler Moore) an at-bat, so we got him in there."
Uggla is batting .129 (4 for 31) with one RBI, two doubles, three walks and seven strikeouts.Analysis:
Baez had opened the season with Triple-A Iowa, managing just nine hits in 52 at-bats with 20 strikeouts. He has not played since April 9. He struggled in the big leagues a year ago, compiling a .169/.227/.324 slash line in 213 at-bats with the Cubs.Analysis:
"Today, I was a little bit more relaxed and I just stayed with my approach and it worked out for me that first at-bat," Russell said, per MLB.com. "It feels really good to get that first one out of the way. We'll just have to see where we go from here."
Russell is only 1 for 9 with four strikeouts in his first two games. Fellow rookie Kris Bryant went 0 for 5 with three strikeouts in his MLB debut last week, but he has since hit safely in five straight games and is batting .409. Russell is hoping to follow a similar path.
"I think it's a good stepping stone for the future," Russell said. "I can build off this and see where it takes me."Analysis:
The triple and the home run were the first of the season for each for Owings, who helped his team build up an 8-1 lead by the eighth inning and held on for a win despite a ninth-inning charge from the Rangers. Owings had managed just two extra-base hits coming into Wednesday's game but is now hitting .220/.250/.360 with six RBI in 50 at-bats while striking out 18 times.Analysis: