Dodgers option Dee Gordon to Triple-A Albuquerque, activate Jerry Hairston Jr. from disabled list.

Dee Gordon

The Dodgers activated utility player Jerry Hairston Jr. from the disabled list Monday afternoon as expected. He’ll be in the starting lineup against the Angels, batting seventh and playing left field.

To make room for Hairston on the active roster, the Dodgers optioned shortstop Dee Gordon to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Gordon played 19 games, starting 17, and batted .175/.278/.254. He impressed manager Don Mattingly in the field while committing two errors and turning seven double plays in 78 chances at shortstop.

“He made a lot of strides defensively for me,” Mattingly said. “That’s the calmest I’ve seen his feet. He’d speed up when he needed to speed up. The offense will come.”

Gordon had an on-base percentage of .359 through his first nine major-league games after replacing Justin Sellers and Hanley Ramirez as the everyday shortstop. The 25-year-old tailed off over his final 10 games, collecting just two hits and three walks.

Monday, Gordon took early batting practice on the field before he was demoted.

“He’s like a Michael Bourn for me,” Mattingly added. “Early on he wasn’t a guy you feared at all. He kept getting better and better.”

In explaining the move, Mattingly noted that Luis Cruz “gives us a little more coverage at third (base) and short(stop). We’re trying to believe that Luis can still do some things.”

Cruz is starting at third base and batting eighth. He may run out of chances to improve his .096 batting average when Ramirez is activated from the disabled list, possible next week.

Hairston completed a rehab assignment with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday. He hasn’t played for the Dodgers since straining his left groin on May 5.

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.