The Dodgers are a serious and often tense bunch, burdened by the expectations inherent in their world-record payroll and the uneasiness inherent in an overloaded outfield.

Scott Van Slyke, a naturally easygoing sort, does what he can to lighten the mood. On Monday, he fed sunflower seeds to two ducks that wandered into center field, and he challenged Yasiel Puig to an impromptu sprint from the outfield to the dugout.

Van Slyke also hit two home runs, driving in four runs in the Dodgers' 6-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp might chafe at the Dodgers' outfield rotation, but not Van Slyke.

"I'll do what they tell me," Van Slyke said. "I'll be a humble servant."

The cries to call up top prospect Joc Pederson and put him in center field ignore the fact that Van Slyke has earned the chance to share the position with Andre Ethier, let alone that throwing another outfielder into the mix would be like throwing a match into a clubhouse full of dry brush.

lRelated Scott Van Slyke has two homers, four RBIs in Dodgers' 6-2 win
Scott Van Slyke has two homers, four RBIs in Dodgers' 6-2 win

Before the game, Crawford said the Dodgers' outfield alignment has been so much in flux that players cannot simply do what the coaches tell them.

"They tell us one thing and something else happens," Crawford said. "We can't go by what they say. It's been frustrating for all of us. We have to be men about the situation and accept what is going on and try to do the best for the team."