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Hanley Ramirez returns to Dodgers lineup vs. Pirates

Ramirez hadn't started since June 5. All non-Ramirez shortstops for the Dodgers in 2013 have hit a combined .161/.229/.223 with three home runs, two doubles and a triple in 238 plate appearances.

Stephen Dunn

The Dodgers welcome back Hanley Ramirez to the starting lineup on Friday night in their series opener against the Pirates, the first start for the shortstop since June 5 Ramirez missed 28 games with a strained left hamstring, and since his June 4 return he has been limited by the same hamstring to just two starts in nine games.

Ramirez has also appeared as a pinch-hitter four times and is 2-for-10 with a double since returning from the disabled list.

The Dodgers will need him and newly reinstated catcher A.J. Ellis to beat Pittsburgh, tied for the third best record in the National League at 39-27. The Dodgers swept the Pirates in April at Dodger Stadium, which remains the only three-game winning streak by Los Angeles this season.

It also continued a pattern of mastery over Pittsburgh in recent years.

The Dodgers have beaten the Pirates in 12 of their last 13 meetings, 15 of their last 17 and 18 of their last 21 contests. The Dodgers have won every season series against Pittsburgh dating back to 2001, and lead this year's six-game tilt 3-0, with only this weekend series remaining.

But the Dodgers are 31-14 all-time at PNC Park, and have won six of their last seven.

Ronald Belisario will serve his one-game suspension Friday night, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.

The Pirates announced that Brandon Cumpton will start Saturday's game on the mound. David Manel and Charlie Wilmoth at Bucs Dugout have more info on the fill-in pitcher.

Game info

Time: 4:05 p.m.

TV: Prime Ticket

MLB Gameday