Turner makes most of pinch-hit appearance

Dodgers third baseman doesn't start after being hit by 2 pitches Wednesday

April 15th, 2016

LOS ANGELES -- Justin Turner did not start, but he made the most of his pinch-hit at-bat in Thursday night's 5-2 win over the D-backs.

Turner came off the bench in the seventh inning to deliver an RBI single that brought the Dodgers within one run of the lead.

The third baseman, who was hit by two pitches -- once on the left hand -- in Wednesday's 3-1 win over the D-backs, is expected to return to the lineup for the series opener vs. the Giants on Friday.

He caught throws at first base during Thursday's pregame warmups, but did not take grounders or batting practice.

"It was one of those things that I wanted to give him a blow with his legs, with his knee, and get him back in there tomorrow," manager Dave Roberts said. "His availability from the beginning, he said he was fine to swing a bat. It's always a nice luxury to have [Turner] on the bench."

X-rays on the hand came back negative and Roberts told reporters that the third baseman was already able to swing a bat by Thursday morning.

"Justin's fine," Roberts said. "I think it was more of us playing out this season and trying to be mindful of that. After being banged up a little bit, it just made sense to give him a day and be back in there tomorrow."

Turner was replaced in the lineup by Howie Kendrick, who saw his first time at third base since his rookie year in 2006. Catcher Austin Barnes moved to second base.

"Howie's a guy that we've talked about playing different places all over the field," Roberts said. "He took more ground balls at third base than he did fly balls out there in left field. I like his action at third base. I wanted to get Austin Barnes into a game and I thought this was a good matchup. We talked about him playing second base and he played some games at second base this spring, so to get some type of rhythm for Austin, to get some confidence going, I thought it was good to get him out there."