Yasiel Puig returns to starting lineup in opener vs. Diamondbacks

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Puig last started on Saturday.

For the first time in six days, Yasiel Puig is back in the starting lineup for the Dodgers against the Diamondbacks on Friday after missing three games with a strained ligament in his left thumb.

Puig bats second and plays right field for the Dodgers. He is 2-for-3 with a home run and a double against Arizona starter Brandon McCarthy.

Puig jammed his left thumb while sliding into first base on Saturday, and made just one appearance in the three games since, striking out looking as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning on Wednesday against the Tigers. The Dodgers were off on Thursday.

Matt Kemp is the odd man out on Friday, sitting after playing the first five games since his activation from the disabled list a week ago. Andre Ethier moves back to center field, with Carl Crawford in left.

With a right-handed pitcher on the mound - for the ninth time in 11 games - Dee Gordon gets the start at second base, and with Crawford and Puig back at the top of the lineup Gordon returns to batting eighth after leading off the last three games. Gordon is hitting .394/.432/.545 (13-for-33) so far this season, and has had 32 of his 37 plate appearances against right-handed pitchers.

Gordon has reached base in eight of his nine games.

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