Against right-handed pitcher Trevor Cahill, manager Don Mattingly put second baseman Dee Gordon in the leadoff spot, followed by right fielder Yasiel Puig. He dropped third baseman Juan Uribe to eighth and put catcher A.J. Ellis behind fifth hitter Andre Ethier, who started in center.
"For me, it's always about the combination of guys you have," said Mattingly. "We're trying to protect 'Dre with A.J. because he's hitting better."
Mattingly said replacing Van Slyke, who started against Arizona lefty Wade Miley in the opener, with Baxter against the right-hander Cahill was "the plan from the beginning."
Having handled constant questions about the logjam of four outfielders, Mattingly was unfazed when asked how he'll handle five.
"It'll be six at some point," he said. "I'm not that concerned. It just makes the bench better. We have a mixture of guys to play, and it will keep everybody going in the right direction."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.