Among National League rookies, Bell ranks first in hits (109), triples (six), walks (51) and games played (122), while ranking second in home runs (21), RBIs (72), doubles (22), extra-base hits (49) and total bases (206). The switch-hitting Bell has become manager Clint Hurdle's primary cleanup hitter against right-handed starters, and he entered this series slashing .261/.340/.493 overall. Bell has also emerged as a dependable defender at first base, recording four Defensive Runs Saved and only nine errors.
"His overall game has found a good, competitive place at this level," Hurdle said of Bell. "He's become a very definite guy that can do some damage at the plate."
Opposing Stewart will be Jameson Taillon, who was scheduled to start on May 8 at Dodger Stadium, but that wound up being the day he underwent surgery for testicular cancer. He returned a little more than a month later, on June 12, and has a 5.40 ERA in 12 starts since. He has pitched better in his last three starts, even if the numbers from his most recent outing don't back that up. Taillon feels that his curveball has come back, and he's locating his fastball better. He allowed four runs on seven hits and three walks, but he struck out seven in five innings last time out in a loss to the Cardinals on Thursday.
Three things to know about this game
• Of Taillon's 22 strikeouts over his past three starts, 14 have come on curveballs, including five in his last outing. He has thrown the pitch about 44 percent of the time in two-strike counts during that stretch, up from 34 percent previously.
• The Dodgers will need to make a corresponding roster move to clear room for Stewart. It could be one of their four left-handed relievers, with Edward Parades the one with the least service time.
• Former Pirates reliever Tony Watson is 21-7 with 13 saves at PNC Park.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.