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Dodgers rotate Kemp out, Ethier into Sunday lineup

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Dodgers rotate Kemp out, Ethier into Sunday lineup play video for Dodgers rotate Kemp out, Ethier into Sunday lineup

PHOENIX -- Asked if an excess of big-name outfielders was a luxury, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly laughed nervously.

"It's been a different luxury. Not a fun luxury," said Mattingly, who left Matt Kemp out of Sunday's starting lineup a day after Kemp went 2-for-5. "Somebody is always not happy."

Undoubtedly on Sunday that was Kemp, although Mattingly spun the lingering unrest in the best light possible.

"From a team standpoint, it's kind of worked," he said. "We're getting good production, close to 90 RBIs from our outfield. Individually, I'm sure they don't feel that. I know that they all don't necessarily like it."

Mattingly has previously said Yasiel Puig has taken the right-field job. He's said something similar about Kemp in center field, although not as firmly. And he's been clear that neither Carl Crawford nor Andre Ethier has done enough to win the left-field job outright.

"Yasiel has separated himself from the pack," Mattingly said. "I could have [Scott] Van Slyke arguing he should play more. I'd like somebody to separate, but you look at the numbers, and they haven't."

Ethier started in center field Sunday, with Crawford in left.

Crawford has hit safely in 10 of 11 games, batting .447 (17-for-38) with a double, three homers and seven RBIs since May 3, raising his overall batting average from .185 to .269. Ethier is hitting .333 (14-for-42) with five doubles and six RBIs in 14 games this month. Kemp is hitting .323 (20-for-62) this month and has hit .380 (19-for-50) with seven multihit contests since May 3, raising his overall batting average from .205 to .271.

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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