LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig didn’t start for the second straight day Sunday because of a sore left hip, but he entered the game as a pinch hitter in the fifth inning.
He singled with one out and the Dodgers trailing Colorado 3-0.
Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly had said he could use Puig if needed, but that he wanted to let the Cuban star rest, if possible.
Sunday’s game was the third in which Puig didn’t start since being called up from Double-A Chattanooga on June 3. He was held out of the lineup Saturday while still nursing the hip injury that was the result of him crashing into the outfield wall at Colorado on July 3.
He played only four innings Friday night.
Puig is hitting .392 with 19 RBI and eight homers in 37 games with the Dodgers.
He finished second in fan voting for the final spot on the NL roster for Tuesday’s All-Star game at Citi Field in New York. Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman, who won the fan vote, jammed his left thumb and won’t play in the game.
Asked about Puig possibly being named as a replacement for Freeman, Mattingly said, “If a guy is hurt, it doesn’t make sense for him to go.”
After Puig came out of the game early on Friday, Mattingly talked to him about being more forthcoming with the team’s medical staff regarding his status so the manager isn’t left in a bind trying to replace players during a game.
Mattingly also said Sunday that he doesn’t mind if Puig goes to the All-Star game “as long as he’s healthy.” He said he doesn’t want the 22-year-old rookie to miss time after the break as a result of playing in the game.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is the team’s only All-Star representative.
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