Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 4/23/12
HOUSTON The recurring ups and downs of James Loney at the plate are on the upswing again. After going hitless in his first 16 at-bats this season, the left-handed Loney has gone 10 for 30 (.333) in his last 10 games. The first baseman didn't start Sunday against Houston Astros left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, who has held Loney to two hits in 13 plate appearances. But after Rodriguez left the game, Loney hit a pinch-hit single against reliever Fernando Rodriguez in the eighth inning. Loney hit his first home run of the season Saturday, pulling the ball into the upper deck at Minute Maid Park. He also has four doubles but is still batting only .217. "I feel fine" at bat, Loney said. "I'm not really too concerned with numbers all the time. It's more of how I'm hitting the ball and how my timing is." Loney also started poorly last year, batting .170 in his first 24 games. He hit .314 with 11 home runs the rest of the season. JANSEN'S TORRID PACE Reliever Kenley Jansen did not pitch Sunday as the Dodgers lost and because "we're going to have to slow him down a little," Manager Don Mattingly said. The hard-throwing Jansen, 24, already had made 10 appearances the most in the big leagues in the Dodgers' first 15 games, during which he limited hitters to a .135 batting average with 17 strikeouts. "We don't feel like we've abused him," Mattingly said, noting that Jansen's heavy use reflected the Dodgers' strong start. "We're not going to play .800 baseball all year," meaning Jansen who typically is used in the eighth inning to protect leads ahead of closer Javy Guerra will get his rest when the Dodgers are losing. UP NEXT The Dodgers open a six-game homestand Monday against the Atlanta Braves, followed by the Washington Nationals. Chris Capuano faces the Braves' Jair Jurrjens in the opener. It appeared the Dodgers would have a marquee pitching matchup between Clayton Kershaw and the Nationals' Stephen Strasburg on Friday night. But the Nationals' game Sunday was rained out and Strasburg is expected to start on a different day. Before the game Monday, Roxanna Green, wife of Dodgers scout John Green, is scheduled to sign copies of her book "As Good as She Imagined" about their late daughter Christina-Taylor, who was killed at age 9 in the 2011 shooting that wounded former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. SHORT HOPS Matt Kemp hit .556 with seven home runs and 13 runs batted in during his 10-game hitting streak. ... Left-handed reliever Scott Elbert made his first appearance in more than a week, giving up two hits but no runs in one inning. ... Despite the loss, the Dodgers (12-4) still are off to their best 16-game start since 2005.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Grading the deal: Thunder acquire Carmelo Anthony

Oakland A’s support catcher kneeling during national anthem

Top takeaways from college football Week 4

Stephen Curry: Trump tweet ‘cemented’ stance about White House visit

Baker Mayfield seen talking trash to Baylor players before game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NC State DE Bradley Chubb apologizes for spitting on FSU logo

Rutgers TE uses rear end to make great catch

Report: Lions sign Jim Caldwell to multi-year extension

Wilton Speight leaves game with possible back injury

Roger Goodell preaches ‘unity’ in response to Trump comments

Six teams on upset alert in NFL Week 3

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mayor Garcetti rolls back the NFL red carpet

The 'Greatest Show temporarily not on turf' quiz

Separating MLS playoff contenders from pretenders

WNBA Finals preview: Lynx look for revenge against Sparks

The 'Chris Sale joins an elite club' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: The home runs just keep on coming

Building on the NFL's positive changes beyond 2017

NFL Week 3 predictions

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

After a decade in the WNBA, MVP Sylvia Fowles is ready for the spotlight

College football 2017 Week 4 predictions

10 teams that can unseat the Warriors in 2018

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mayor Garcetti rolls back the NFL red carpet

The 'Greatest Show temporarily not on turf' quiz

Separating MLS playoff contenders from pretenders

WNBA Finals preview: Lynx look for revenge against Sparks

Three Up, Three Down: The home runs just keep on coming

The 'Chris Sale joins an elite club' quiz

Building on the NFL's positive changes beyond 2017

NFL Week 3 predictions

After a decade in the WNBA, MVP Sylvia Fowles is ready for the spotlight

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker