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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
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