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Puig takes BP, misses third straight start

Special to MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- Yasiel Puig missed his third straight start on Wednesday, but the outfielder is getting closer to returning to the Dodgers' lineup.

Wearing a protective splint on his left thumb, Puig took batting practice on the field with his teammates at Dodger Stadium before they played the Tigers.

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LOS ANGELES -- Yasiel Puig missed his third straight start on Wednesday, but the outfielder is getting closer to returning to the Dodgers' lineup.

Wearing a protective splint on his left thumb, Puig took batting practice on the field with his teammates at Dodger Stadium before they played the Tigers.

View Full Game Coverage

"He's improved today," manager Don Mattingly said. "We'll see where's he at. I feel like I'm going to have him more than I did last night."

And that he did. Mattingly sent Puig up to pinch-hit with the bases loaded in the ninth inning and the Dodgers down by two runs. Puig struck out looking on three pitches, but the Dodgers tied it before losing, 7-6, in 10 innings.

After Tuesday's 10-inning Dodgers victory, Mattingly said Puig was only available on an emergency basis, "if the game went on forever, and we needed a hitter." On Sunday, Puig's first miss, he was only available to pinch-run.

Puig said he could hold the bat Tuesday "but it was a bit uncomfortable" with the splint, "but I will adapt."

Earl Bloom is a contributor to MLB.com.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Yasiel Puig