Dodgers’ Josh Beckett remains on track to start Tuesday in Pittsburgh.

ST. LOUIS>>Josh Beckett seems unlikely to miss another start after the right-hander threw a bullpen session Saturday morning at Busch Stadium without pain in his left hip.

“I felt like my mechanics were a lot sharper than I was expecting them to be, and the actual feel of the bullpen, also the way my body felt, was better than I thought,” Beckett said.

Drew Butera, who caught Beckett in the bullpen, said “that was as clean as I’ve seen him in a while.”
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Matt Kemp stands behind agent Dave Stewart’s comments, would accept trade for more playing time.

Matt Kemp

Matt Kemp has played three innings in center field since May 22. (Associated Press photo)


ST. LOUIS>>Matt Kemp insists he’s a center fielder. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has used Kemp in left field, not center, for all but three innings since May 22.

Kemp insists he’s an everyday player. With the Dodgers, he’s part of a five-man outfield rotation.

This apparent conflict of opinions hasn’t prompted Kemp to ask the Dodgers for a trade — a popular opinion with the trade deadline approaching and a headline like this one appearing on FoxSports.com.

But Kemp was happy to clarify the comments made by his agent, Dave Stewart, that Kemp would prefer to be playing center field rather than receiving inconsistent playing time in left or right.

“I want to be in a situation where I play every day,” he said Friday. “If it’s with the Dodgers, if it’s with someone else, that’s not my decision.

“I don’t have a no-trade clause. I don’t have any of that. I’m a Dodger. I’m going to play and help them any way I can. I’m blessed that I can wear a jersey and play the game I love to play.”
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Justin Turner returns from the disabled list; Carlos Triunfel optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Justin Turner

Justin Turner missed the last 14 games with a left hamstring strain. (Michael Owen Baker/Staff photographer)


ST. LOUIS>>The Dodgers reinstated infielder Justin Turner from the 15-day disabled list (left hamstring strain) and optioned infielder Carlos Triunfel to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Turner strained his left hamstring on June 29 and missed 14 games. He’s batting .302 with three home runs, 10 doubles and 21 RBIs in 59 games in his first season as a Dodger, and has a .385 (15 for 39) average with runners in scoring position.

Turner appeared in two rehab games at Single-A Rancho Cucamonga on Sunday and Monday and went a combined 1-for-5 with a run and two walks for the Quakes.

Triunfel has appeared in 11 games in four stints with the Dodgers, collecting two hits in 14 at-bats (.143). Turner isn’t in the Dodgers’ starting lineup tonight against the St. Louis Cardinals, but gives Don Mattingly a quality right-handed pinch hitting option off the bench in addition to the left-handed swinging Carl Crawford.

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Dodgers recall Paco Rodriguez from Triple-A Albuquerque.

Paco Rodriguez mugshotST. LOUIS>>The Dodgers recalled left-handed reliever Paco Rodriguez from Triple-A Albuquerque in advance of tonight’s game against the Cardinals.

Rodriguez was 2-3 with one save and a 4.56 earned-run average (13 ER in 25 ⅔ innings) in 29 appearances with the Isotopes this year, limiting opponents to a .242 batting average with 34 strikeouts and 14 walks. He made the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster and allowed five runs in seven innings (6.43 ERA) in 10 appearances during two previous major-league stints this season.

The 23-year-old left-hander made 78 appearances last season between the regular season and the playoffs. He has a 3-5 career record with two saves and a 2.65 ERA in 97 big-league games.

Rodriguez takes the roster spot vacated when Pedro Baez was optioned to Triple-A just before the All-Star break. He joins J.P. Howell as the only left-handers in the Dodgers’ bullpen.

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A brief postscript to the Albuquerque Isotopes’ forfeit loss.

Albuquerque Isotopes manager Damon Berryhill spoke to Examiner.com briefly about having a walk-off win changed to a forfeit loss on Tuesday.

“We got caught up in basically a paper move and just made a mistake in a transaction that ended up costing us a game,” Berryhill told reporter Chris Jackson.

That’s essentially the same explanation that Dodgers vice president of player development De Jon Watson gave us, and it lacks specifics about how the mistake was made. There are “easy mistakes to make”; this isn’t one of those.

With or without specifics, the Dodgers and Isotopes don’t come away looking good. The Isotopes have a 44-55 record and are 12 games out of first place, so one game might not matter much in the long run.

The “real victim” in all of this? Albuquerque pitcher Juan Abreu, who had a win stricken from his record by the league on Tuesday and was released from his minor-league contract Thursday. Here’s to better times, Juan.

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Good news for people who love Dodgers news.

I was standing in the Angels’ clubhouse last year (hang with me, this is really about the Dodgers) when a writer who doesn’t normally cover baseball asked me what the “pulse” of the team was. I don’t remember the day, or the opponent, or what my senses were picking up. Probably the usual quiet din of clubhouse attendants shuffling in and out, the usual smell of cologne mixed with sweaty workout clothes, and the usual faces.

“It’s normal,” I said, which is usually what a doctor says when she puts away her stethoscope, right?

Truth is, this was the first game of a new homestand. I’d spent the last week covering the Dodgers. I could tell you what I’d just read about the Angels’ last road trip, or if there were any unusual faces in the room. Maybe I knew that night’s bobblehead giveaway. But a pulse? Call a doctor. Better yet, call a traveling beat writer.

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Dodgers prospect Joc Pederson homers in Triple-A All-Star Game [video].

A solo home run by Dodgers prospect Joc Pederson got the Pacific Coast League on the board, but wasn’t enough to thwart defeat in the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday in Durham, North Carolina.

Pederson hit a 91-mph fastball from right-hander Ruben Gotay deep to right-center field in the International League’s 7-3 win. The 22-year-old center fielder, the only Dodgers prospect in the game, went 1 for 3 with a walk.

In 79 games with Albuquerque this season, Pederson is hitting .324 with 13 doubles, four triples, 17 home runs and 43 RBIs. He leads the PCL with a .445 on-base percentage.

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Fox boasts highest All-Star Game viewership since 2010.

Viewership ratings for Tuesday’s All-Star Game were the highest in four years, according to ratings released today by Major League Baseball.

Fox’s telecast of the game attracted 11.34 million viewers, the most since the American League beat the National League 3-1 at Angel Stadium in 2010. The last All-Star games for Yankee pitcher Mariano Rivera in 2013 and Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter on Tuesday helped the game achieve its first viewership increase in back-to-back years since 1993 and 1994.

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw and right fielder Yasiel Puig were among the top five players mentioned most often via social media. Here’s a graphical breakdown of the game’s social media impact:

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