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Dodgers bench Dee Gordon for a game

Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly says he felt Dee Gordon, the Dodgers' young leadoff hitter, was just 'pushing too hard.

April 20, 2012|By Jim Peltz
  • Shortstop Dee Gordon watched from the dugout as the Dodgers defeated the Houston Astros, 3-1, on Friday.
Shortstop Dee Gordon watched from the dugout as the Dodgers defeated the… (Harry How / Getty Images )

HOUSTON — Dee Gordon's struggles at the plate prompted Manager Don Mattingly to bench the young shortstop in Friday night's game against the Astros.

"He's fighting it a little bit," Mattingly said of Gordon, the Dodgers' leadoff hitter who was batting .192 overall and had hit .167 in the series the Dodgers just completed in Milwaukee.

"You just know what's going through their mind," Mattingly said. "He sees probably .200 on the [video] board and even though it's only 40 at-bats and could change so fast, they still see that number.

"They want to change it right now, they'd like to get 10 hits today," Mattingly said. "You can see when a young guy is pushing too hard. I just want him to watch a game, basically, and slow it down a little bit."

Gordon, who turns 24 Sunday, still is among the game's stolen-base leaders with eight.

Justin Sellers started in his place Friday night, but Gordon's break won't last more than one game, Mattingly said, adding that "if I would say [to Gordon], 'You're not playing [again] tomorrow,' he'd be mad."

Uribe doing better

Jerry Hairston Jr. again started in place of Juan Uribe at third base Friday night, but Mattingly said Uribe's sore left wrist had improved, and he expected Uribe to return to the lineup Sunday.

Despite several excellent plays by Hairston lately, Mattingly said there were no plans to have Hairston or anyone else permanently take over the third base job.

"Juan's still going to be the guy playing third base," Mattingly said. "He's the guy most equipped to play daily."

Billingsley scare

Pitcher Chad Billingsley had some soreness in his groin after his last start Tuesday but feels fine after tossing a bullpen session Friday, Mattingly said.

As a precautionary measure, pitcher Nathan Eovaldi was pulled from his game with double-A Chattanooga on Thursday night in case the Dodgers needed him to replace Billingsley.

But "Bills is scheduled for Sunday and we don't anticipate him not making that start," Mattingly said.

Harang ticket sale

The Dodgers launched a sale of $9 seats — in honor of Aaron Harang's record of nine consecutive strikeouts recently — for their game April 27 against the Washington Nationals, when Clayton Kershaw is expected to face the Nationals' Stephen Strasburg.

The 44-hour sale (in honor of Harang's number) started at 5 p.m. PDT Friday and the seats are on Dodger Stadium's lower reserve level.

Minor leaguer Guzman suspended

Angel Guzman, a right-handed pitcher with triple-A Albuquerque, received a 50-game suspension after a second drug-related violation, Major League Baseball announced.

Guzman, 30, who joined the Dodgers this year after 12 years in the Chicago Cubs organization, violated the "minor league drug prevention and treatment program for a drug of abuse," the statement said. No other details were released.

james.peltz@latimes.com

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