Cincinnati Reds 3, Dodgers 2.

Andre Ethier

Andre Ethier and Yasiel Puig nearly collided on this fly ball, eventually caught by Ethier, in the first inning. (Associated Press photo)

Matt Kemp hurt his hamstring. The starting pitcher, Chris Capuano, suffered a mild left groin strain and was done six batters into the game. Dee Gordon was hit in the back of the neck. Yasiel Puig slid awkwardly in his first game back from a stiff right knee.

Then it was time for the third inning.
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Yasiel Puig returns to the lineup, along with most Dodgers regulars.

Chris Capuano

Dodgers left-hander Chris Capuano starts against the Reds in Cincinnati today. (Associated Press)

The Dodgers used three lineups in Colorado that had never been seen before in 2013. If the last two are never seen again (Michael Young batted fourth and Nick Punto second both Tuesday and Wednesday against the Rockies), many wouldn’t complain.

On Friday in Cincinnati, Don Mattingly went with a more conventional, October-ready lineup against the Reds. Unlike the sub-.500 Colorado team, Cincinnati is battling for position in the National League Central, which will likely send three teams to the playoffs.

For the Dodgers, Yasiel Puig returns to the number-two slot after being relegated to pinch-hit duty Tuesday and Wednesday because of a stiff right knee. The heart of the lineup looks familiar too, and only A.J. Ellis gets a day off among the starters. (Tim Federowicz caught Chris Capuano‘s last start, in which the left-hander allowed one run in seven innings in San Diego.) Capuano was given the starting assignment when Hyun-Jin Ryu came down with stiffness in his middle back.

For Cincinnati, Brandon Phillips is batting second and playing second, one day after leaving a game in Philadelphia with a left quad contusion.

Pete Rose is at Great American Ballpark for an unveiling of a Joe Morgan statue. (Morgan is in the house, too.) Miss Hooters International is throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.

Both lineups for the 4:10 p.m. first pitch (Prime Ticket has the broadcast):
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Reports: Dodgers to sign Edinson Volquez.

Edinson Volquez

Edinson Volquez was 9-10 with a 6.01 earned-run average this season before he was placed on release waivers Wednesday by the San Diego Padres. (Getty Images)


According to multiple reports Wednesday, the Dodgers are on the verge of signing right-handed pitcher Edinson Volquez to a major-league contract. Volquez was placed on release waivers earlier Wednesday by the San Diego Padres.

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Yasiel Puig has a new nickname and Chris Capuano has a new catcher.

Andre Ethier

Andre Ethier has started eight straight games for the Dodgers, batting .310 with a home run and a double. He was not in Sunday’s lineup. (Getty Images)

When the pitcher isn’t pitching well, change the catcher.

That was the thinking behind having A.J. Ellis catch Chris Capuano today for the first time since May 29. While the Dodgers haven’t lost a game started by Capuano since July 4, the left-hander has a 7.53 earned-run average in his last three outings and his rotation spot could be in jeopardy come September. Tim Federowicz had caught Capuano’s last 11 starts dating back to June 19.

“I wanted to kind of mix that up just a little bit,” manager Don Mattingly said. “One start with Ricky (Nolasco), A.J. caught him. Then Fed went back to him. I want to keep the mixture of guys’ playing time the same. Cap’s been OK the last couple times out and I just wanted to change the dynamic just a little bit.”

Second baseman Mark Ellis and center fielder Andre Ethier were both healthy scratches against Red Sox right-hander Jake Peavy. Yasiel Puig is playing right field and batting fifth for the first time in his major-league career, while Skip Schumaker is batting sixth and playing center field.

The left-handed hitting Ethier typically sits against left-handed pitchers, and Peavy is almost equally stingy against lefties (.254/.289/.465) and righties (.240/.282/.399).

“I needed Puiggy back there a little bit,” Mattingly said. “It’s easier for me just to move one guy. With the group of guys I have in there today, it’s more balanced.”

Based on an informal press box poll, that might be the first time Mattingly has referred to Puig as “Puiggy.”

Both lineups for the 5:05 p.m. game:
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Dodgers’ rotation is set up for Chris Capuano (or Stephen Fife) to start September 1.

Chris Capuano

Chris Capuano is 4-6 with a 4.70 earned-run average in 19 games (17 starts) this season for the Dodgers. (Associated Press photo)

The Dodgers have an off-day in their schedule next Thursday. It’s a chance for Don Mattingly to reset his rotation by skipping Chris Capuano‘s scheduled turn Aug. 31 and having Zack Greinke start against the San Diego Padres instead.

Instead, the manager said he’ll give his starters an extra day of rest.

“We traditionally try to use those days to get guys pitching on their sixth day so everybody gets an extra day,” Mattingly said. “especially this time of year as you get into August. We have no plans of skipping anybody at this point.”
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