Four starters out of Dodgers' lineup

Four starters out of Dodgers' lineup

SAN FRANCISCO -- Manager Joe Torre had four regulars on the bench for Monday night's opener of the Dodgers' series with the Giants.

Center fielder Matt Kemp, catcher Russell Martin, first baseman James Loney and second baseman Blake DeWitt did not start against Giants left-hander Barry Zito. Instead, Reed Johnson started in center field, A.J. Ellis was behind the plate, Ronnie Belliard at first base and Jamey Carroll at second base.

The most interesting decision was on Kemp, a .457 lifetime hitter against Zito who is batting .196 this month. It was Kemp's second consecutive game on the bench.

"He has real good numbers against Zito, but I just decided to stick with the lineup yesterday that scored runs," Torre said of starting Johnson, who had two doubles Sunday night in place of the slumping Kemp. "I'm just giving Matt another day off and we'll take it a day at a time. Reed was a big part of the decision. He had a good game and he gives us a little energy. Today I think it's important to get that energy."

Martin, who was ejected after slamming and breaking his bat when called out on strikes in the 10th inning Sunday, also is slumping (1-for-11 on the homestand) and also is only .194 lifetime against Zito. Sunday was his second ejection in five days.

"Last night was obviously grueling and he used a lot of energy," said Torre. "It was my plan to rest him at some point. The way that ended, it was better to do it tonight."

Loney is 1-for-20 lifetime against Zito, while Belliard is hitting .297 against Zito and Carroll is hitting .348.