Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon: ‘I need a day off.’

Dee Gordon

Dee Gordon had been caught stealing in three of his previous seven stolen-base attempts coming into the weekend series against the Chicago Cubs. (Sarah Reingewirtz/Staff photographer)

The problem might have become obvious just before the Dodgers’ series against the Chicago Cubs.

Dee Gordon had been caught stealing in three of his previous seven attempts. That’s good for a lot of runners, not so much for the man who leads the major leagues with 51 steals. So Gordon gets a day off today against the Chicago Cubs.

“It wasn’t really planned,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “I was kind of trying to wait for a lefty. I just felt like he — you could tell — different coaches were coming to me, ‘Dee looks like he needs a day.’ Leg wise, things like that. So we wanted to make sure we took care of him.”

Mattingly said he doesn’t trust Gordon to come to him and report an injury. “He’s kind of probably a little bit nervous about saying he needs a day,” the manager said. So, he trusted the coaches.

Turns out the coaches were right.
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The hit by pitches are adding up and starting to resonate with players. Tonight’s game story.

Clint Hurdle

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was ejected after pitcher Justin Wilson was ejected for hitting Justin Turner with a pitch Tuesday. (Associated Press photo)


Dodgers shortstop Justin Turner was measured but outspoken in his postgame comments tonight — not only about getting hit by a 97-mph fastball, but the fact that he’s far from alone.

One late, important result that won’t make the early editions: The Giants (56-44) beat the Phillies in the 14th inning, so the Dodgers (56-46) are now a full game out of first place in the National League West.

Click here for the story.

The box score is here.

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.

With Miguel Rojas starting at shortstop again, taking stock of the Dodgers’ backup infielders.

Miguel Rojas

Miguel Rojas is hitting .232 in his first 30 major-league games. (Associated Press photo)

It’s reached the juncture, again, where Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez is being propped up by shoulder injections. The Dodgers seem to think that last night’s injection hit the correct spot. Time will tell.

On Friday, for the fourth time in the last five games, Ramirez wasn’t in the Dodgers’ lineup. Miguel Rojas was. Ramirez’s health seems to be stuck on day-to-day, so it’s worth examining where his backups stand in what’s become a competition for fairly regular playing time.
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Justin Turner scratched with tightness in calf.

Dodgers infielder Justin Turner isn’t starting today because he has tightness in one of his calves, manager Don Mattingly said. The injury is not considered serious. Chone Figgins is starting at third base in Turner’s place.

Turner took ground balls at third base prior to the game, moving laterally at less than full intensity.

Since taking over for the injured Juan Uribe as the Dodgers’ everyday third baseman, Turner has a .349/.406/.540 slash line.

Carl Crawford leaves Dodgers’ game against Cincinnati with a sprained left ankle. Update.

Carl Crawford

Carl Crawford limps off the field after suffering a sprained left ankle in the eighth inning of the Dodgers’ 6-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday. (Getty Images)

Carl Crawford sprained his left ankle in the eighth inning of the Dodgers’ game against the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night. The 32-year-old rolled the ankle on the turf while fielding Chris Heisey‘s double into the left-field corner. He had to be helped off the field by head athletic trainer Stan Conte and was replaced by Scott Van Slyke.

A picture of Crawford’s ankle as the injury occurred can be found here.

Update (11:15 p.m.): Crawford said he will be placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday.

“I think it’s going to take a while,” he said.

The injury is severe enough that Crawford entered the Dodgers’ clubhouse after the game in a wheelchair. He then limped into the showers and came back to his locker wearing a protective boot.
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Juan Uribe is available but isn’t in the Dodgers’ starting lineup.

Juan Uribe took batting practice prior to the Dodgers’ game against the Miami Marlins for the second straight day, but is not in Don Mattingly‘s starting lineup tonight. Justin Turner will get the start at third base for the third straight day.

Uribe looks healthy, but might be more than two days away from returning to the Dodgers’ starting lineup.

“We’re going to try to buy him as much time through the off-day, try to buy him to Arizona before I start him,” Mattingly said. “Everybody’s basically telling me he’s available to double-switch, to go into a game situation like that.”

Here are the full starting lineups for both teams:
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Dodgers third baseman Juan Uribe held out of lineup, could be headed for disabled list.

Juan Uribe has a mild right hamstring and will not play Friday night against the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers’ third baseman suffered the injury running out a double-play ball in the seventh inning Thursday night.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly didn’t rule out the possibility that Uribe could wind up on the disabled list.

“Hamstrings are tricky,” Mattingly said. “If you can’t run, you can’t play. We’ll give him a day. We’ll probably find out tomorrow.”

At least in Uribe’s case, the hamstring hasn’t been a nagging issue in recent years. He injured the same hamstring in 2008 as a member of the Chicago White Sox, but that was the last time the injury sent him to the disabled list.

Still, the Dodgers are being cautious with the 35-year-old, who’s played 318 ⅓ of a possible 335 ⅓ possible defensive innings this season.

“He’s walking around, he looks fine like anyone else,” Mattingly said. “Missing a week or two weeks is one thing, but if you’re missing months that’s when your season gets all out of sorts, when you go out on rehabs and you’re trying to get back in the groove, all that kind of stuff. It seems to be mild. We’ll try to keep it at that and not let it turn in to something better and not get too far down the road, as far as letting it screw up his year.”

The manager added that Uribe’s innings are likely to be filled from within the Dodgers’ 25-man roster for now. The right-handed hitting Justin Turner is starting at third base tonight against Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner. Switch-hitter Chone Figgins has appeared in 632 major-league games at third base — more even than Uribe.

Hanley Ramirez was the Miami Marlins’ third baseman when the Dodgers acquired him in July 2012. However, Ramirez told the team immediately after the trade that he would prefer not to move back and forth between positions during the same season, making him an unlikely fill-in for Uribe.

Here are the lineups for both teams:
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Spring training ends poorly for Dodgers’ Dan Haren.

Miguel Rojas

Miguel Rojas, who grounded out on this at-bat Saturday, finished spring training with a .387 batting average, second on the Dodgers to Justin Turner’s .389. (Associated Press photo)

ANAHEIM — Dan Haren‘s final spring tuneup was one to forget.

The right-hander allowed all six Angels runs in a 6-2 Dodgers loss before an announced crowd of 43,553 at Angel Stadium on Saturday.

The Dodgers resume regular-season play tomorrow in San Diego. It’s the Padres’ first game of the season. Opening Day for most major-league teams is Monday.

Last weekend, the Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks twice in Sydney, Australia and have a regular-season record of 2-0. They came back and lost two of three to the Angels, officially finishing spring training with a 7-12-5 record.

Haren didn’t go to Australia. Since the Dodgers only needed two starting pitchers (and kept Paul Maholm for insurance), Haren stayed behind and pitched minor-league spring training games in Arizona.

The playing environment changed dramatically Saturday. Haren went from games with no official statistics and no names on the back of players’ jerseys to a sold-out stadium. The change seemed to have caught him by surprise.

The Angels scored two runs in the first inning on back-to-back RBI doubles by Albert Pujols and David Freese. In the second inning, Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun hit back-to-back home runs.

Trout’s home run came on a hanging split-fingered fastball, Haren said, while almost all of the Angels’ other hard hits came off his cut fastball. Haren allowed six hits in two innings.

“It was just kind of getting it a little bit flat,” Haren said of his cutter. “I have to have the mindset of driving it down and away to a righty rather than just leaving it out there.

“I’m going to throw quite a few of them in the bullpen. I need to get that sharpened up. My other pitches were actually OK. I struggled with it last start too in the minor leagues. I threw a bunch in the last inning of that game.”

Haren starts Wednesday in San Diego, the finale of the three-game series with the Padres. His final major-league spring training ERA: 6.00.

“It’s the last one that doesn’t count,” Haren said. “No use thinking about it too much. I got some work in. It’s been a while since I felt like I’ve been on a mound, it seems like, at least in a real game. It didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to. I feel OK. Just flush it down and move on to the next one.”

Said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly: “I’m glad it’s tonight and not Wednesday.”

The Dodgers scored both of their runs in the third inning on a two-run double by Chone Figgins. Most of the starters played only two defensive innings.

It was a good day for the Dodgers’ bullpen. Against almost entirely major-league competition, they combined for six scoreless innings: One by Brandon League, three by Matt Magill and two by Red Patterson.

The box score is here.

A few more notes:
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Dodgers give Justin Turner the Opening Day nod at second base.

Justin Turner

Justin Turner hit .280/.319/.385 last season for the New York Mets. (Getty Images)

JJustin Turner will bat second and play second base, when the Dodgers play the Arizona Diamondbacks on Opening Day at 1 a.m. Pacific Time Saturday in Sydney, Australia.

The choice of Turner is somewhat surprising, since he was only added to the Dodgers’ 40-man roster on the final weekend of spring training. Dee Gordon and Alex Guerrero had been the presumed favorites to get the Opening Day start from the beginning of camp.

Turner, a 29-year-old from Long Beach, has never started on Opening Day in parts of five major-league seasons. He batted .355/.447/.484 in 16 spring training games.

Gordon, who bats left-handed, was not expected to start against the left-handed hitting Miley. Since Turner was chosen over Guerrero, there is a strong chance that Guerrero will be optioned to the minor leagues when the Dodgers hand in their roster to Major League Baseball tomorrow.

Here is the Dodgers’ expected Opening Day lineup:

Yasiel Puig RF
Justin Turner 2B
Hanley Ramirez SS
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Scott Van Slyke LF
Juan Uribe 3B
Andre Ethier CF
A.J. Ellis C
Clayton Kershaw P