After three-hit night, Gordon back in lineup

After three-hit night, Gordon back in lineup

HOUSTON -- Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon admitted the flaw. He said he gets upset when manager Don Mattingly tells him he won't be playing the next day.

"It's very true," Gordon said. "I wish I wasn't like that, [but] I love to play the game. I want to be in there every day."

Gordon, who turned 24 and was in the lineup on Sunday, couldn't complain too much, being the starting shortstop at his age for the team that leads the National League West by 4 1/2 games.

"I'm definitely blessed to be here," he said. "I thank God for the opportunity He's given me. I'm going to go out and play hard."

Mattingly did not write Gordon's name in the starting lineup Friday night, replacing him with Justin Sellers. It appeared the move paid off when Gordon returned to his leadoff position Saturday night and went 3-for-4.

Gordon singled to open the game. After grounding into a double play in the third inning -- his first of the season -- he dropped a bunt single in the sixth that led to a run, and doubled and scored in the eighth in the Dodgers' 5-1 win over the Astros.

"It means we won," said Gordon, deflecting any personal glory despite his impressive night at the plate. "Just trying to win baseball games, that's it. We've been playing pretty good without me having much production. I'm just trying to help."

Saturday night's three hits raised Gordon's batting average to .232.

Batting leadoff, Gordon probably needs to draw more walks. He walked five times in the Dodgers' first 15 games. But he has already stolen eight bases, second in the National League entering Sunday's game, in 11 attempts.

The 5-foot-11, 160-pound Gordon is best known for his speed. When Houston's Kyle Weiland threw wildly trying to pick Gordon off first base Saturday night, he raced all the way to third.

"Some guys get labeled for what they do best," Gordon said. "Hopefully, by the end, people will talk about what kind of all-around player I was."

Gordon grew up in Windemere, Fla., the son of former Major Leaguer and well-traveled reliever Tom Gordon, who now runs an AAU baseball program and coaches Dee's 16-year-old brother Nicholas, another infielder.

Going from a small town to Los Angeles didn't change Gordon.

"I'm very family oriented," he said. "I keep to myself. I stay out of the Hollywood stuff."

The Dodgers selected him in the fourth round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.

"I wanted to be in the Major Leagues the day I signed," he said. "But I wasn't ready. I'm blessed to be here."