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Ethier to stick to pinch-hitting in Division Series

Ethier to stick to pinch-hitting in Division Series

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Ethier to stick to pinch-hitting in Division Series

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he's not planning any changes to his lineup for the remainder of the National League Division Series and doesn't expect Andre Ethier to be available in the outfield.

Mattingly said Saturday "it would be a great surprise" if Ethier plays in the outfield against the Braves. Ethier has been limited to a role as a pinch-hitter in the NLDS because of a left ankle injury similar to shin splints. He came off the bench in the eighth inning of a 6-1 win in Game 1 and grounded out. During a 4-3 loss in Game 2, Ethier walked with two outs in the ninth and was removed for a pinch-runner.

"He's swung the bat well off the bench for us, and he's kind of been doing what we intended him to be able to do this series," Mattingly said. "If we get any more than that, I think it would be just a nice surprise."

Skip Schumaker has filled in for Ethier in center field, and rookie Yasiel Puig has replaced Ethier in the middle of the lineup behind cleanup hitter Adrian Gonzalez. Mattingly said he feels "pretty good" about his starting lineup heading into Game 3 on Sunday at Dodger Stadium.

"I don't feel like there are a whole lot of changes that we could make," the manager said. "We still like Yasiel back in the middle, being able to be dangerous in the middle of our order. It lengthens us out a little bit and balances us. So we're pretty much going to be rolling with that."

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

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