HOUSTON -- Dodgers third baseman Jerry Hairston, after starting three games in a row, was given Saturday night off by manager Don Mattingly.
Hairston had been the defensive star of wins Thursday at Milwaukee and Friday at Houston.
When Houston's Jose Altuve lashed a single just inside third base in the third inning, Hairston fielded the ricochet off the stands down the left-field line and easily threw out Altuve trying to stretch the hit into a double.
"I was anticipating him going [to second], because I would have gone," Hairston said. "You want to be aggressive in that situation. It had to be the perfect storm for me to make a play on it. Everything had to go my way and it did."
In the fifth inning with the Dodgers leading, 3-1, and the Astros up with the bases loaded and two outs, Hairston knocked down a drive by Jed Lowrie and scrambled to third base for a force out that ended the inning.
"I pride myself on defense," said Hairston, whom, at 35, is playing with his ninth team. "It's been my calling card my whole career. You can't always hit. You want to make sure you're a complete player. That's something I've always prided myself in."
Hairston received the start at third the past two days because regular Juan Uribe was out with an inflamed left wrist. He also started one game at second base and two in left field.
"I like my role," he said. "The bottom line is winning. I'm at the point in my career, I wanted to come to a team that had a chance to win. There's nothing like playing in the postseason, playing for a ring. We feel we have a chance to do something special here.
"I don't have to play every single day. I'm not going for Cal Ripken's streak. That's not my deal. My goal is just to be productive when I have a chance to play and have us healthy for the stretch run. Nowadays it's tough to play 162."
Mattingly wanted to give Hairston a day of rest Saturday.
"All of a sudden, he's played three in a row," Mattingly said. "I don't want him getting [worn out]."