Prime opportunity arises to give Adrian breather

Prime opportunity arises to give Adrian breather

LOS ANGELES -- Adrian Gonzalez leads the Dodgers in games played and started, so it was a rare sight to see the first baseman out of Wednesday's lineup against the Cubs.

But manager Don Mattingly felt it was the right time to rest Gonzalez -- who has started 126 games and appeared in 128 -- with an early start on Wednesday and a day off on Thursday. Gonzalez is 2-for-20 with one home run and three RBIs in his past five games.

"I had to give Adrian a day today," Mattingly said. "I could see it yesterday, he was dragging pretty good. I don't think he is feeling great."

Jerry Hairston got the start at first base. Hanley Ramirez replaced Gonzalez in the No. 3 hole in the lineup. That influenced Mattingly to bat Yasiel Puig leadoff, move Carl Crawford behind the rookie and put Andre Ethier in the cleanup spot to avoid stacking right-handed and left-handed batters.

Crawford had exclusively hit leadoff in 78 games before Wednesday. But the lineup's new look could be used again.

"I would like to possibly look into that a little bit," Mattingly said. "It may work nice if I could flip flop Carl and Puig and Hanley and Gonzo. It's something I've kind of been thinking about."

Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.