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Luis Cruz could be odd man out for Dodgers

Cruz has 21 plate appearances in his last 17 games, including just four starts during that span.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers look to snap an eight-game losing streak on Saturday night as they host the Marlins at Dodger Stadium. Miami is one of just two National League teams with a worse record than the Dodgers (the Cubs are 13-22), but that didn't seem to matter much on Friday night.

For the fifth consecutive game, Luis Cruz is not in the starting lineup for the Dodgers, and he doesn't figure to see much time any time soon.

"It's hard to have a plan right now. With Mark Ellis out, Nick Punto has come in and done well. Juan Uribe has swung the bat a little bit better," manager Don Mattingly said. "Luis it's been tougher to get at-bats because I've tried probably the last four or five time I've started him were pretty good matchups for him, guys he has hit pretty good in the past. Obviously it hasn't went very well."

Cruz on the season is just 6-for-67 (.090), and Friday night marks the 13th time in 17 games he has not been in the starting lineup. Last year's feel-good story could end up back on the scrap heap, especially when Mark Ellis (strained right quad) and Jerry Hairston (left groin strain) return from the disabled list.

"That will be something to address as we get there. But we talk about it all the time, you gotta produce. If you're not, you're probably in danger. All of us," Mattingly said with a slight chuckle, noting his own job security. "That's the nature of the game. There are no true guarantees that you'll just keep playing, that you'll keep getting unlimited chances. I've tried to mix him back in. I'm still going to use him."

Cruz was intentionally walked on opening day, but outside of that hasn't drawn a base on balls on his own since last Aug. 29, a span of 191 plate appearances.

Game info

Time: 6:10 p.m.

TV: Prime Ticket

MLB Gameday