LOS ANGELES -- It's been quite a week for Jerry Sands.
Sands made his first big league start Monday night after getting called up from Triple-A Albuquerque, and he doubled to right field in his first career at-bat. Sands followed that up with an RBI sac fly his next time up, and then he was officially welcomed to the bigs when Tim Hudson threw a fastball behind his head in the sixth inning.
Sands was out of the Dodgers' starting lineup, but he found his way to the plate in the seventh inning, pinch hitting for Tony Gwynn, who got the start in let field. In four games, Sands is 2-for-12 with two doubles and two RBIs, and he's quickly become a fan favorite at Dodger Stadium.
"It's really just a day for Jerry," manager Don Mattingly said before the game. "He flew in, played, and a lot of stuff went on for him. So we wanted to give him a breather and take a look at a game."
In his brief time with the Dodgers, Sands already has shown the opposite-field power that made him a sensation in the Minors when he hit five home runs in just 10 games with the Isotopes this month. In the fifth inning Wednesday against Atlanta's Jairo Asencio, Sands sent another ball deep to right field and just missed his first home run.
"I think he's been good," Mattingly said. "The ball he hit last night, if it's during the day, it's gone -- and if it's probably any other ballpark, it's got a good chance of going.
"[Opposing pitchers are] going to try to figure him out, but he's a right-center-field approach type guy. And that's what's going to make him good in the long run, is that he stays on that side of the field."