The Dodgers will score another run this year. Probably.

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The Dodgers were shut out by the Giants in an entire series this week, becoming the first team since 2010 to go scoreless in three straight games. Worse, in the finale against San Francisco, they lost Andre Ethier to a strained oblique that will probably put him on the DL. It’s going to lead to some lineups that look like this for the next couple of weeks:

SS Dee Gordon
2B Jerry Hairston Jr.
RF Bobby Abreu
LF Juan Rivera
1B James Loney
C A.J. Ellis
3B Juan Uribe
CF Tony Gwynn Jr.

With Elian Herrera, Adam Kennedy and maybe Josh Fields or Scott Van Slyke also in the mix.

Even with Ethier playing regularly, the Dodgers have the worst OPS in the majors this month. They’re hitting .219/.295/.295 in 25 games during June. They have just six homers, half as many as the team in 29th place in that category (the Padres).

Assuming that Ethier lands on the DL, here will be their leading home run hitters on the active roster:

Ellis – 6
Rivera – 3
Loney – 2
Abreu – 2
Hairston – 2
Matt Treanor – 2

So, yeah, things look bleak. But I’ll buck the odds anyway; it may not happen tonight or even this weekend, but the Dodgers will score again. Call it a gut feeling.

Ian Kinsler lists the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central

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Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.

Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list

Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.

Angels demote C.J. Cron to Triple-A

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Angels first baseman C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the Mets on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to keep his spot on the major league roster as the club announced his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Infielder Nolan Fantana has been promoted from Salt Lake.

Cron, 27, was hitting a disappointing .232/.281/.305 with one home run and RBI in 90 plate appearances. I guess you can say that wasn’t the kind of Cron job the Angels were expecting. Cron was an above-average hitter in each of his first three seasons, finishing with an OPS+, or adjusted OPS, of 111, 106, and 115 (100 is average).

While Cron is figuring things out in the minors, Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte, and Albert Pujols could each see some time at first base.