HOUSTON -- Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon was not in the starting lineup for Friday night's game at Houston. Justin Sellers started at shortstop in place of Gordon and batted leadoff."You're obviously going to choose a lefty to give Dee a day [off]," Dodgers manager Don Mattlingly said of left-hander J.A. Happ starting for the Astros. "Dee's been fighting it a little bit," Mattingly said. Gordon, who has started 12 games this season and played in all 13, is hitting .192 with two doubles and two RBIs. "I want him to watch a game and slow down a little bit," Mattingly said. "It's easy to play Justin because I know I don't lose anything defensively. He's probably as good as anybody we've got anywhere on the field. He'll give you good at-bats." Mattingly said that Gordon was not happy the last time he told Gordon that he was giving his shortstop a day off. "He wants to play," Mattingly said. "If I would say, 'You're not playing tomorrow,' he would be mad. You can see when a young guy's pushing too hard. He's trying to force the action. "You know what's going through his mind. You've been there. He sees .200 on the board, even though it's only 40 at-bats, they see that number up there. Well, they can't change [the batting average] today. They want to change it right now. They want to get 10 hits today to get it back where they feel it's respectable. He just needs to keep it in perspective. "He's been good some days, not good some days. He does some really good things. He's going to get better. That's the thing you've got to look at. He has to give himself a new start. You may have to do that three or four times a year, in my mind. You're going to go good, then have a down period. Forget it. It's over. Numbers get in your head and they change your game. You can't let numbers change your game." Sellers rewarded Mattlingly's confidence by singling to open Friday night's game and scoring on Matt Kemp's homer.
Dodgers remain cautious with Uribe's wrist
HOUSTON -- Dodgers third baseman Juan Uribe did not start his third consecutive game Friday night, the last two because of a mildly inflamed left wrist.Jerry Hairston Jr., the defensive star of Thursday's win at Milwaukee, started again at third base. Uribe did hit in the cage and take batting practice before Friday's game at Houston. He said he was available to pinch hit, if needed. "I feel good," Uribe said before the game. "I can play." "We were really up in the air [about him] yesterday," manager Don Mattingly said. "Today was a big day. After the doctors saw him yesterday in Milwaukee, he started some kind of medication. "We're going to see Juan this series. The plan right now is to start him Sunday. If the situation arises [before], we'll use him like anybody else off the bench." Uribe injured the hand last Sunday against Sam Diego sliding home. He did not start Wednesday's game in Milwaukee because of the pitching matchup, not because of the injury.
Guerra bounces right back after blown save
HOUSTON -- Dodgers closer Javy Guerra closed Thursday's win over Milwaukee in perfect fashion -- three up, three down -- in the bottom of the ninth to preserve LA's 4-3 victory.It proved to be a bounce-back performance for Guerra, who blew the save in Tuesday's 5-4 loss at Milwaukee. It was his first blown save of the season. "Just go right out there and get the job done," Guerra said of Thursday's game. "The other night [Tuesday] happened, and you just shake it off like anybody in the clubhouse would." Relief pitchers in general, and closers in particular, must learn to turn the page, put a bad outing behind them and treat every appearance like a new day. "It's definitely not easy," Guerra said. "It's something you have to go through. You bump your head along the way and try to get better at it. It's basically getting back out and getting it done right away so you remove all doubt." After Tuesday's loss, Guerra couldn't wait to get back to the mound. "I'm always anxious, no matter what inning," he said. "You just want to be out there. It's a fun part of the game. You should always want to be out there." "It's important always for a guy to bounce back," manager Don Mattingly said. "Javy's pretty good at it. He had one last year that he bounced back from. He handled it fine, the way he walked around the next day. He just got beat. He had the right thinking, he just didn't execute his pitch. He has the mentality that makes him a closer. He turns the page pretty good. His stuff is electric." Except for Tuesday's blip, Guerra has been doing his job extremely well this season. He has six saves in eight appearances and a 2.45 ERA. Guerra, 26, grew up in Denton, Texas, just north of Dallas. He is not the type of reliever who wants days off. "I try to get out there as much as possible," he said. "You never know when your number is called and they take the jersey away from you."
Dodgers stick by Guzman after suspension
HOUSTON -- The Dodgers are not ready to give up on Angel Guzman, the Minor League pitcher who was suspended 50 games on Friday for his second violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program."I knew about it in spring training," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "He was pitching so good. We knew there was going to be an appeal process. Usually that doesn't make much difference. [But] he kind of went down on the priority list as far as giving him innings." Guzman, a right-hander, is on the roster of the Albuquerque Isotopes, the Dodgers' Triple-A team, but has not appeared in a game this season. "It's pretty unique, this kid," Mattingly said. "It's a lot deeper than what you may think. It's one you should maybe wait and see because this is a good kid. There's more to this story. "I really like this guy. His arm is good. His stuff is good. He's a worker. He's a great kid. I think he has a chance to be a part of what we do here eventually. I want to let this thing play out a little bit." Guzman, 30, a native of Caracas, Venezuela, was signed by the Dodgers in December as a free agent. He played parts of four seasons with the Chicago Cubs, compiling a 3-10 record with a 4.82 ERA. He originally signed with Kansas City in 1999 as a 17-year-old.
Gene Duffey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.