Puig likely headed to DL after painful swing

OF homers, later leaves with oblique strain in loss to Angels

July 9th, 2018

ANAHEIM -- Dodgers outfielder is likely headed for the disabled list with a strained right intercostal oblique muscle suffered in Sunday's 4-3 loss to the Angels, manager Dave Roberts said.
Puig, who slugged a three-run homer in the second inning, was injured during a fifth-inning at-bat. He said he felt something on his first swing that at-bat, then doubled over in pain on a second swing before being removed from the game.
Although the Dodgers can draw top position prospect or from Triple-A Oklahoma City, the injury shelves Puig after he's put together nearly two solid months on the heels of an April in which he hit .193. His home run was the second in as many games and his 11th of the season. The Dodgers have eight hitters with double digits in home runs before the All-Star break for the first time in club history.

Roberts said Puig would have an MRI exam on Monday, but "we're almost certain it's a DL situation." Roberts said All-Star left fielder Matt Kemp, who often says he's most comfortable playing right field, will return there in Puig's absence. , and can rotate between left and center fields.
And all of that assumes the Dodgers don't include an outfielder in a trade for Orioles All-Star shortstop Manny Machado, as those rumors aren't cooling off.
"I don't know how long I'm going to be out," said Puig. "On the first swing, I felt something, but not too much. On the second swing I try to get to that fastball and try to hit it in front and that's when I feel it. I feel bad because I can't help my team win right now. I play a little better today and do the best I can in the field and now this has happened. All I can do is rest and do the treatment."
Puig said he's never had a rib cage injury. They often take a month or longer to fully heal.
While Puig accounted for all of the Dodgers' runs, they were beaten by the long ball as well, with coming off the bench with a tiebreaking pinch-hit 443-foot homer off JT Chargois in the seventh inning. Ohtani was only 2-for-14 since returning from the DL with an elbow injury that is still preventing him from pitching. One inning earlier, tied the game with a solo homer off starter Alex Wood.
"With Ohtani, his nitro zone is down," said Roberts. "I don't know how much of the plate it got, but he hit it to the big part of the park."

The seventh inning has been the black-hole inning for the Dodgers and their bullpen most of the season. The Dodgers have been outscored by opponents in the seventh, 47-30, their biggest negative run differential for a single inning. With in the ninth, and are sharing the eighth. With Tony Cingrani, Josh Fields, and on the disabled list, Roberts is still looking for the answer in the seventh.
Newcomer could be that guy, if he can repeat his Dodgers debut. Acquired in a July 4 trade with Cincinnati, Floro shut down the Angels' rally in the seventh with a double-play ball from and got three more groundouts in the eighth.
"He put Fletcher on the ground for the double play, and you saw the other guys at the top of the order [, and ] didn't get good swings off him," said Roberts. "I'm looking forward to seeing more of him."
With two out in the top of the sixth inning, the Dodgers loaded the bases on singles by and , then a walk by Kemp. Bellinger hit a dribbler that first baseman fielded and flipped to covering. Umpire Rob Drake called Bellinger out on a close play. The Dodgers challenged, but the call would stand after review.
"I thought it was going to get overturned, but it's one of those where if the call is made either way, it's got to be really clear for them to overturn it," said Roberts. "Unfortunately for us, they had the out call initially."

Heaney was a Dodger for a few hours in December 2014, acquired from the Marlins, then flipped to the Angels in the deal the same day.

"That one's on me." -- Wood, after allowing three runs in six innings of a no-decision

opens a four-game series against the Padres and on Monday at 7:10 p.m. PT. Kershaw's third start back from the disabled list was more of a struggle than a quality start would seem, as the lefty didn't miss many bats and conceded he has work to do. The Dodgers expect him to move forward off it.