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Sunday, September 15, 2013
Yasiel Puig sits early with sore hip

By Mark Saxon
ESPNLosAngeles.com

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was not in Sunday's starting lineup against the San Francisco Giants due to a sore left hip, just the latest in a mounting series of injuries as the Dodgers try to clinch the NL West.

Puig did pinch hit in the ninth inning and grounded out with the bases loaded to end the game. The Giants beat the Dodgers 4-3.

Before the game, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly had said the timetable for Puig's return was unclear. Puig has had issues with his hip periodically in recent weeks.

"I'm thinking somewhere between seven and 10 days for him, hopefully, maybe two or three weeks, I don't know," Mattingly said. "Or, it could be tomorrow. I'm not sure."

Mattingly said the trainers had not given him a firm idea of how long Puig would be out and that no further tests, including an MRI, have been ordered.

"It's just a pretty big window for me to be right," Mattingly said jokingly. "I'd really like to be right. It'd be the first one this year."

The Dodgers dealt with copious injuries for the first three months and fell to 12 games under .500 on June 21, but they gradually got healthy and have played at a .651 rate since. Their magic number to clinch the West was four games entering Sunday.

Now, the injuries are starting to crop up again. Four of the team's top six hitters by OPS were not in Sunday's lineup due to injuries. Carl Crawford has tightness in his back, Andre Ethier has a sprained left ankle and Hanley Ramirez is dealing with nerve irritation in his back and a tight left hamstring.

In addition, Matt Kemp has missed 86 games with ankle, shoulder and hamstring injuries. He could be activated as soon as Monday. Mattingly is hopeful he can get his lineup back in time to gain some continuity entering October.

"I'm not really worrying about the number of games. I'd just like to get them all back and know that they are healthy," Mattingly said. "No. 1, we've got to win four more games. So, we start with that."