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Carl Crawford sits, as planned, against Giants

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The Dodgers are easing their left fielder back to action to full-time duty, which could come as early as this weekend.

USA TODAY Sports

Though it's just the second game of the season, the Dodgers are resting Carl Crawford on Tuesday night against the Giants at Dodger Stadium. The off day for the left-handed Crawford is conveniently against the southpaw Madison Bumgarner of San Francisco, though manager Don Mattingly said he would have rested Crawford Tuesday no matter who started on the mound for the Giants.

"Carl's not hurt. It's not really because of a lefty either. It's part of what we wanted to do from the beginning," Mattingly said. "Even though we were building and building Carl, once we get to the season nine innings is different, the intensity is different. We wanted to make sure to be able to wean him in, especially with the off days."

Crawford, who recovered from Tommy John surgery, played in 10 Cactus League games, and played seven games in left field including the exhibition in Rancho Cucamonga last Thursday.

Crawford will play Wednesday, then comes Thursday's off day. After that, Mattingly said he would be close to playing Crawford every day.

Starting in place of Crawford on Tuesday is Jerry Hairston Jr., who is batting leadoff. Hairston and fellow utility man Skip Schumaker are the only two backup outfielders on the Dodgers' roster.

"We look at Jerry more of a full-time outfielder now," Mattingly said. "I could still use him at first if I had to, or third if I had to, or really short or second, but it makes him more of a full-time left fielder / right fielder."

Hairston has three hits in seven at-bats (.429) against Bumgarner in his career, including a double.

Notes

  • Jim Kaat, calling the game for MLB Network, threw the first shutout in Dodger Stadium history. Kaat, then 23 and a member of the Twins, shutout the Angels on Apr. 22, 1962.
  • Giants first baseman Brandon Belt is out of the lineup Tuesday night with a stomach virus. Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle has more details.
  • Clayton Kershaw this season will donate $500 for each of his strikeouts to Kershaw's Challenge. In addition, Muscle Milk will contribute $100 per Kershaw strikeout.
  • Don Sutton, the Dodgers all-time franchise leader with 233 wins and 2,696 strikeouts, turned 68 on Tuesday.

Game info

Time: 7:10 p.m. PT

TV: Prime Ticket, MLB Network

MLB Gameday