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No setback, but Crawford out of lineup

WASHINGTON -- Dodgers left fielder Carl Crawford was out of the lineup on Saturday, but manager Don Mattingly said the move was not indicative of any problem with Crawford's back.

Crawford made his first start in 10 days on Friday and went 0-for-4. With the heat in Washington and with the Nationals starting left-hander Gio Gonzalez on Saturday, Mattingly felt it was a good day to rest Crawford.

"The back's been bothering him a little bit and different things, so I think we do have to be careful," Mattingly said. "I kind of feel like we're always going to have to be a little bit careful with Carl as far as number of days in a row. So I don't think we're ever going to see Carl play 150 games-type thing anymore."

Crawford entered as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning of Saturday's 3-1, 10-inning win over Washington, going 1-for-2. He should be back in the lineup on Sunday against righty Jordan Zimmermann, and the Dodgers' series in Toronto that starts on Monday should afford the outfielder at least one start at designated hitter.

Crawford also is trying to rediscover the form he showed during the first two months of the season, when he hit .293/.352/.453. Since coming off the disabled list on July 5, he is 2-for-30 with no extra-base hits, two walks and eight strikeouts in nine games.

"He seems a little rusty since he came off the DL," Mattingly said. "Early in the year, he swung the bat really well and he really was kind of like our catalyst as much as anything, and since he's came back, he's really kind of struggled, to be honest. But that to me is just a matter of time until he gets his timing and gets on a roll and adds another piece to this mix."

Andrew Simon is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @HitTheCutoff.
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