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Scott Van Slyke not only starts, but hits fourth for Dodgers

Rookie, who hit a pinch-hit, three-run home run Sunday against the St. Louis Cardinals, makes second start of his career in a lineup devoid of a whole lot of punch.

May 21, 2012|By Bill Shaikin

PHOENIX -- For the second time in a major league career that has lasted all of two weeks, Scott Van Slyke found his name in the Dodgers' starting lineup.

The first time, he batted third. On Monday, he batted fourth.

"Necessity is a good word," Manager Don Mattingly said. "I'd feel better if he were back there hitting sixth or seventh and not in the heart of the order.

"I don't mean that in a bad way toward him."

The Dodgers had 10 home runs in their injury-depleted starting lineup Monday — eight from Andre Ethier, one from Justin Sellers and one from Van Slyke.

In his ninth career at-bat, Van Slyke hit a three-run, pinch-hit home run Sunday, lifting the Dodgers to a sweep of the defending World Series championSt. Louis Cardinals.

The Dodgers were so happy for him that Matt Kemp said he jumped out of the training room, dried off and raced onto the field to join the celebration.

"We were jumping around in the bullpen like a bunch of little girls," reliever Jamey Wright said.

Van Slyke said his cellphone was abuzz with congratulatory text messages, some from friends and family.

"I got a lot of messages from people I didn't know," Van Slyke said. "I have no idea how they got the number."

Dodgers get MLB blessing

After Bryan Stow was beaten in the Dodger Stadium parking lot last year, Major League Baseball dispatched a six-man task force to review the Dodgers' security procedures, a widely publicized action that former owner Frank McCourt said had contributed to the team's attendance decline.

Although a man was beaten in the parking lot Sunday, league officials have no plan to send a similar delegation. The Dodgers, under new ownership, kept the league updated on the incident Sunday evening and its aftermath Monday, MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said.

"We are very comfortable with the security measures that are in place at Dodger Stadium and how the team has handled this unfortunate situation," Courtney said.

Mark Ellis update

Infielder Mark Ellis, who had emergency surgery Saturday to relieve a fluid buildup in his right leg, on Monday underwent the first of two procedures to close the incision, athletic trainer Sue Falsone said. The second procedure is scheduled Tuesday, and the Dodgers hope Ellis can go home from the hospital Wednesday, Falsone said.

The Dodgers then can proceed to evaluate Ellis' right knee, which was injured in Friday's game. The swelling, and subsequent emergency treatment, has prevented the Dodgers from getting a conclusive MRI examination.

Short hops

Kemp (hamstring) said he expected to play one or two games at triple-A Albuquerque before rejoining the Dodgers on schedule next Tuesday. … Mattingly said utilityman Jerry Hairston Jr. (hamstring) is set to play for Albuquerque on Wednesday and Thursday before rejoining the Dodgers on Friday. … Shortstop Dee Gordon did not start for the third consecutive game, but Mattingly said Gordon would start Tuesday. … Pitcher Clayton Kershaw was honored as National League player of the week. ... The Dodgers announced a tribute to Hall of Fame broadcaster Jaime Jarrin on June 11.

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