A day of firsts for the Dodgers’ starting lineup.

Nick Punto gets his first start, Luis Cruz and Andre Ethier get their first day off, and Tim Federowicz gets his first start behind the plate when the Dodgers host the Pittsburgh Pirates to conclude their first homestand of the season.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly had different reasons for each of the changes. Cruz, who is still searching for his first hit of the season after 19 plate appearances, “needs to put those behind him because he can’t change anything that happened in the first five games of the season,” Mattingly said.

“Hopefully he can see the forest because he was getting a little close to the trees, can’t see his way out.”

Juan Uribe will start at third base and bat sixth.

Uribe, Justin Sellers and Jerry Hairston Jr., who will start in right field and bat fifth, are also looking for their first hits of the season.

With Ethier, “it’s not that he needs a day (off) I just want to keep him fresh,” Mattingly said. “I know if I can keep him fresh and keep him strong, he’s better.”

Punto will bat second and play second base in place of Mark Ellis. Both Ellises are healthy.

The full lineup against Pirates left-hander Jeff Locke:

Carl Crawford LF
Nick Punto 2B
Matt Kemp CF
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Jerry Hairston Jr. RF
Juan Uribe 3B
Tim Federowicz C
Justin Sellers SS
Hyun-Jin Ryu P

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