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Monday, August 6, 2012
Jerry Sands returns to basics

By Mark Saxon

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