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Hairston takes turn in leadoff spot for Dodgers

Hairston takes turn in leadoff spot for Dodgers

Hairston takes turn in leadoff spot for Dodgers
LOS ANGELES -- For the first time this season, Jerry Hairston's name was penciled in at the top of the Dodgers' lineup card as manager Don Mattingly continues to explore his options with Dee Gordon injured.

At Thursday's team workout, Mattingly mentioned Hairston, as well as Bobby Abreu and Tony Gwynn, as possibilities to bat leadoff. He batted Elian Herrera there twice and Gwynn twice in the four games without Gordon before the All-Star break.

Abreu and Hairston have never started a game batting leadoff for the Dodgers -- Abreu did twice for the Angels -- while Gwynn has started 18 games this season atop the lineup. None of the three is an everyday starter, which means the position should rotate often while Gordon recovers from thumb surgery that will keep him shelved for six weeks.

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However, both Abreu (51 starts) and Hairston (322) have experience batting first in their careers, and neither are concerned with where in the lineup they hit.

Hairston went 1-for-4 and scored a run in Friday's 2-1 win over the Padres.

"I just go out and play and play the game like I know how," said Hairston, who has now hit in every spot this year but eighth. "Whether I'm hitting leadoff, second, third, I'm just trying to hit the ball hard and have good at-bats. If I have good at-bats, then I'm happy."

Abreu echoed the same feeling.

"It doesn't matter what number I hit," he said. "I do my job, get on base and work the count. That's what I always do. Leadoff would be no problem for me. That's where you can start rallies, get on base for the guys in the middle of the lineup to do the damage."

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