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Puig enters in 12th after sitting with shoulder strain

LOS ANGELES -- Yasiel Puig was scratched from the Dodgers' lineup on Wednesday because of a strained right shoulder, but the outfielder had treatment throughout the game and felt good enough to enter in the final frame of a 12-inning loss to the D-backs.

Puig came off the bench to play right field in the top of the 12th as part of a double switch. Cliff Pennington promptly singled to right and Puig fired home, holding a runner at third. It was quite a turnaround for Puig, who began the day with a sore throwing shoulder.

"Obviously, you see that throw was pretty good," manager Don Mattingly said after the Dodgers lost, 8-6.

Puig was pacing in the Dodgers' dugout with a bat in hand in the bottom of the ninth with the score knotted at 4, though Mattingly elected to use Hanley Ramirez as a pinch-hitter instead.

"He was excited," the manager said of Puig. "He was ready. Maybe he thought I was going to pinch-hit him earlier."

In the bottom of the 12th, Puig singled to left on the first pitch he saw from Arizona closer Heath Bell. The Cuban moved to second on Skip Schumaker's walk, took third on Nick Punto's groundout and scored on Mark Ellis' grounder to the right side.

After warming up with the rest of the team before the game, Puig took five swings in the batting cage and then walked off the field in frustration. He ducked into the Dodgers' clubhouse and later emerged without his jersey but again returned to the clubhouse without doing any further baseball activities.

Puig's shoulder strain could be a related to his involvement in Tuesday's benches-clearing incident with the D-backs. During the seventh-inning melee, Puig threw several punches and had to be restrained by teammates before he was ejected from the game.

"Yasiel was a little sore," Mattingly said before Wednesday's game. "I'm not sure what all that was from."

Puig, who did not speak to reporters on Wednesday, also had a leg cramp Tuesday, though that didn't keep him off the field, and he was grazed on the nose by a 92-mph fastball from D-backs starter Ian Kennedy.

Puig had started every game in right since he was recalled from Double-A Chattanooga last Monday. In his first 10 Major League games, Puig is hiting .486 with four home runs and 10 RBIs.

Alex Castellanos started in right and went 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored. Jerry Hairston replaced Puig in the cleanup spot and went 0-for-5.

Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for Ken Gurnick is a reporter for
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