Notes: Starter, reliever to swap roles

Notes: Seo, Perez to switch places

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers manager Grady Little has decided to move Jae Seo from the starting rotation to the bullpen, and Seo's replacement is a very familiar face.

Odalis Perez is back in the Dodgers' starting rotation and will make his seventh start of the season on Wednesday against the Mets. Perez has not started since May 2 at Arizona.

"I'm happy to go back to where I belong to," said Perez, who has allowed three runs in 8 1/3 innings of relief.

Little said he made the decision to switch Seo and Perez on Friday night, with Seo giving up three runs on five hits, two of them homers, over four innings against the Phillies.

It wasn't just Seo's performance that caused Little to make the switch. Perez's outing against the Braves on May 31, during which he gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits in three innings of relief, helped Little make the decision.

Said Little, "The three innings he pitched the other day for us, I feel like he's ready to get back in the starting rotation."

Perez seemed to struggle with consistency earlier in the season, as he tended to either pitch very well or struggle to get through the fifth inning. In three of his starts this season, Perez allowed just one earned run. In the other three starts, he allowed seven runs twice and six runs once. He gave up seven runs over 4 1/3 innings in his last start before being moved to the bullpen.

Despite the fact that the switch to the bullpen in May was a demotion, Perez said he valued the experience. The left-hander said he may eventually return to the bullpen because, in baseball, you just don't know where your career will take you.

"For now, I'm a starter," said Perez. "Who knows if I'll go back to the bullpen? It has been a difficult time for me to be in the bullpen, but it was good for me to be there and get some experience."

Seo will be available in a relief role beginning with Sunday's game against the Phillies, Little said.

Gagne sits: Dodgers closer Eric Gagne made his return to the Dodgers on Friday night against the Phillies, with one strikeout in a hitless ninth inning.

It was not a save situation for Gagne, as the Dodgers lost, 8-6, but Little wanted to get Gagne in the game regardless of the situation on Friday. Little said Gagne would not pitch on Saturday, however, regardless of the situation. Should the Dodgers need a closer, Little said, Takashi Saito would get the call.

Gagne experienced some tightness after Friday's outing, but Little said it's nothing out of the ordinary, especially considering the right-hander had not thrown in a Major League game since June 12, 2005, due to a pair of surgeries on his right elbow.

"He will be working back-to-back [games] plenty of times," Little said. "But not this quickly."

Big blue bats: Dodgers bats have been hot, and the team has ridden them to 11 wins in its last 15 games.

In fact, the Dodgers' offense has been tops in the National League so far, leading all NL teams in batting average (.277), runs (304), hits (524), RBIs (296) and on-base percentage (.360).

The Dodgers can thank their youngsters for moving them to the top of the National League in offensive numbers, as five rookies -- Willy Aybar, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Joel Guzman, and Russell Martin -- are hitting .301, collectively, with nine homers and 50 RBIs among them this season.

"We've been comfortable up here," said Kemp, who has hit a home run in each of the last two games. "We're all just here trying to win championships."

Coming up: In the final game of the series with Philadelphia, Aaron Sele (3-0, 2.20) will take the mound against Brett Myers (4-2, 2.80). First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. PT.

Amanda Branam is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.