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Jerry Sands returns to basics

8/6/2012

The Dodgers are making most of their decisions these days based on fortifying their offense.

They laid off the market for starting pitchers at the trade deadline in favor of bolstering their lineup with veterans Shane Victorino and Hanley Ramirez. On Monday, they jettisoned defensive whiz Tony Gwynn Jr. in favor of Jerry Sands, who was riding a 10-game hitting streak at Triple-A Albuquerque, during which he batted .476 with six home runs.

Sands started Monday in right field, allowing manager Don Mattingly to give Andre Ethier a day off against left-handed pitcher Drew Pomeranz. Much of Sands' playing time could come at first base, however, now that the Dodgers have a set outfield.

Sands, 24, batted just .200 in eight major-league games earlier this season, so when he returned to Triple-A, he scrapped the changes he had made to his swing in 2011. Sands returned to the swing that helped make him one of the Dodgers' top power prospects a couple of years ago.

"It was like tweaking something and I had no idea what I was doing," Sands said. "It was unknown territory for me, so it was tough for me to have a base to work from. Now, I've gone back to my swing from a couple years ago and I was really comfortable."

Here are lineups for Monday night's game with the Colorado Rockies:

Colorado

Eric Young Jr. RF

Dexter Fowler CF

Jordan Pacheco 3B

Carlos Gonzalez LF

Ramon Hernandez C

Matt McBride 1B

Chris Nelson 2B

Jonathan Herrera SS

Drew Pomeranz P

Dodgers

Shane Victorino LF

Mark Ellis 2B

Matt Kemp CF

Hanley Ramirez SS

Juan Rivera 1B

Jerry Sands RF

Luis Cruz 3B

A.J. Ellis C

Chris Capuano P