PHOENIX -- Number crunchers will point out that Howie Kendrick, who had four hits Tuesday night, is 12-for-21 since being moved to the second spot in the Dodgers batting order.
Manager Don Mattingly, who put him there, said he thinks Kendrick might have been ready to break out anyway, but he won't argue that the move is "working for him." Kendrick said he's "just playing my game," that he doesn't change the way he hits because of where he's batting.
Whatever the cause and effect, Kendrick teamed with Yasmani Grandal to ignite the Dodgers' offense in the 6-4 win over Arizona on Tuesday night. Already 2-for-3, Grandal cashed in a Jimmy Rollins walk that led off the seventh inning with an RBI single on the eighth pitch after fouling off three others. Then he led off the 10th inning with an opposite field line drive over the fence, igniting a three-run rally.
"Guys know who you are. I've been around a long time," said Kendrick. "They know I hit up the middle, go the other way. I just make adjustments and see what happens."
On the home run, he said he got a pitch he could handle from David Hernandez, a fastball up and over the plate.
The Dodgers went 15-15 in June, adding one game to their lead over the Giants, which is now 1 1/2 games. Kendrick was asked if he felt the club was running in place.
"I think we're running in the right place," he said. "Any time you stay where you're at and still are on top of the division -- maybe we didn't play the greatest baseball, but you feel good knowing we're going to play better baseball. The second half is when you make a serious push."
Kendrick has had four hits in two of the last five games he's played, raising his average from .276 to .298.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.