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Pierre slated to garner start

Pierre slated to garner start

PHOENIX -- Forgotten man Juan Pierre gets his first start of the season Sunday against the Diamondbacks in the final game of the Dodgers' opening trip.

Pierre had played 162 games over five consecutive seasons until last year, when the acquisition of Andruw Jones -- and then Manny Ramirez -- sent him to the bench.

Despite having three years remaining on his contract, Pierre is the fourth outfielder on a club that doesn't platoon, with Ramirez, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier expected to start virtually every game.

Manager Joe Torre said Pierre will start in center field, and Matt Kemp will take a seat on the bench. Pierre was a replacement for Ramirez when Saturday night's game became a blowout, and he had an RBI single in only his second at-bat of the year.

"I'll be ready," said Pierre, who is resigned to his fate as a backup. "I don't even think about when I'll get in or if I'll get in. I just stay ready."

Pierre concedes he's had to adjust the daily routine he made a ritual for nearly a decade.

"I work out more," Pierre said. "I just do it to stay active. I run a lot more to keep my legs in shape."

One Dodger who will not get Sunday off is second baseman Orlando Hudson. Returning to the city where he played during the past three seasons, Hudson sparked the Dodgers' offense to its best game of the season Saturday with a solo home run and two-run double after going 0-for-3 with a walk Friday night.

"I have a feeling where he's playing, he's gotten pumped up a bit," Torre said.

Torre also suggested Hudson is feeling more secure with the dislocated wrist that required surgery last August and left him less desirable on the free-agent market.

"So far," Hudson said, "I feel pretty good. I can't complain. The wrist is no problem."

Hudson had his wrist checked Friday by Phoenix hand specialist Dr. Don Sheridan, but the second baseman has shown more offensive pop batting left-handed this week than he did throughout Spring Training. The switch-hitter started batting left-handed one month after he started batting right-handed because of the injury to his left wrist.

Asked by an Arizona reporter how long it took him to feel comfortable in a Dodgers uniform, the second baseman said immediately.

"I'm happy to be in this uniform," Hudson said. "It's ... one of the most respected, one of the most powerful. One of the most powerful men wore [it], Mr. Jackie Robinson. I'm proud to be an African-American man wearing Dodger Blue. I'm in awe."

Pitching matchup
LAD: LHP Randy Wolf (0-1, 6.75 ERA)
Wolf let a one-run lead slip away and couldn't get out of the sixth inning in a loss to San Diego during his 2009 debut. He was charged with four runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings. Afterward, he criticized himself for not being aggressive enough with his approach, nibbling on the corners instead of challenging hitters to put the ball in play. Wolf has not won his first start of a season since '03.

ARI: RHP Dan Haren (0-1, 1.29 ERA)
Haren was outstanding in his first start of the year, holding the Rockies to just one run on three hits over seven innings. The right-hander fanned nine and did not walk a batter. Unfortunately for him, one of the hits was a solo home run by Troy Tulowitzki. The homer came on the first pitch of the fifth inning, and provided all the runs the Rockies would need in a 3-0 win. Haren had a good spring. In fact, the club limited his innings toward the end because he had been so efficient with his pitches early in camp that his innings total got a little high.

Tidbits
Russell Martin continued to struggle with a pair of strikeouts in five plate appearances Saturday, but he was credited with a two-run double on a sharp grounder that went through the legs of Arizona third baseman Mark Reynolds. ... Ramirez went 0-for-2, but he walked twice and scored both times Saturday. Ramirez is batting .263 with no homers, but he leads the team with seven walks and five runs scored. ... Matt Kemp has a hit in all six of the Dodgers' games entering Sunday. ... The Dodgers were 6-for-12 with runners in scoring position Saturday. ... Cory Wade, who blew a save in San Diego on Thursday, retired the side in order in the eighth.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• PRIME

On radio
• KABC 790, KHJ 930 (Español)

Up next
• Monday: Dodgers (Chad Billingsley, 1-0, 3.00) vs. Giants (Randy Johnson, 0-1, 7.20), 1:10 p.m. PT
• Tuesday: Off-day
• Wednesday: Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw, 0-0, 1.80) vs. Giants (Matt Cain, 1-0, 1.29), 7:10 p.m. PT

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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