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Puig part of rejuvenated LA trio back in lineup

WASHINGTON -- Taking advantage of the rest provided by the All-Star break, the Dodgers got three regulars back in their starting lineup for Friday night's series opener against the Nationals.

Left fielder Carl Crawford (stiff lower back), right fielder Yasiel Puig (sore left hip) and second baseman Mark Ellis (left knee) all were back in the lineup after missing some time with minor injuries late in the first half. Crawford led off against the Nationals' Stephen Strasburg, Puig hit second and Ellis was in the No. 8 spot.

None of the three players started the team's first-half finale on Sunday against the Rockies. Puig entered in the fifth inning and played the rest of the way, going 1-for-3. Crawford missed his fifth straight start, but entered as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning and went 0-for-1. Ellis fouled a ball of his knee on Saturday and came out the game.

"Carl was pretty good that last day, and Yasiel was actually pretty good that last day back in L.A., so I had a pretty good feeling we'd come out of the break good," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "Mark Ellis was the guy where I had a little question mark about how he'd come out, but he's come out pretty good. So we're pretty much ready to go."

Puig will be trying to get on track. In 10 games since he crashed into the right-field wall in Colorado on July 3, he is 11-for-42 (.262) with one extra-base hit, a .286 slugging percentage, one RBI and 13 strikeouts.

Crawford is making his first start since July 9.

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