Ellis sacrifices at-bats to boost teammates

Ellis sacrifices at-bats to boost teammates

Ellis sacrifices at-bats to boost teammates
SAN DIEGO -- Dee Gordon got the headlines Saturday night, while Mark Ellis happily settled for three at-bats more productive than any box score would indicate.

He moved Gordon along three times with a groundout to the right side in the first inning, a two-out walk that prolonged an inning long enough for Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier to drive in runs and a fly ball to right that sent Gordon to third tagging up.

Manager Don Mattingly rested Ellis in Sunday's day game following Saturday's night game.

"I want to keep him healthy," Mattingly said. "The guy is really solid. He does a lot of things really well. What he did was huge. I told him this morning, it's a tough spot to hit in. You have no rhythm. They're trying to pick Dee off, coming quick to the plate, he's got to give himself up and all it shows is a no-hit, but he does the job. It might not show up on ESPN or FOX."

Ellis is making the transition after playing most of his career with Oakland in the American League, where he said he never had a true leadoff hitter like Gordon.

"It's like a night-and-day difference in the National League, but I've been around long enough to know what I can do to help win games," Ellis said. "I've got to be willing to give up an at-bat and not worry about the numbers. With Dee on base and Matt behind me, I realize Dee is going to run and I've got to take pitches for him and give Matt the opportunity to drive him in. If I have to sacrifice at-bats, I will."

The reception he received in the dugout from appreciative teammates was a reminder to Ellis of his contribution.

"That's what good teams do, they understand the game," he said. "I know when I've done something good, and when I haven't. I know Donnie understands that. We can win a lot of games if I do my job."