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Slumping Yasiel Puig dropped to 7th in Dodgers batting order

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig is back in the starting lineup after missing Saturday's game with a stomach bug.  But he is hitting seventh on Sunday against the Diamondbacks, the lowest he has ever hit in a major league lineup.

"You try to put your lineup together based on what's going on," manager Don Mattingly said on Sunday. "Over the last three months, Yas is probably hitting where he should be hitting."

Puig was named National League Player of the Month in May, hitting .398/.492/.731 with eight home runs and 25 RBI in 28 games. But since June 1 the outfielder is hitting only .261/.345/.390 with two home runs and 19 RBI in 77 games, including .211/.301/.239 with no home runs and four RBI in 29 games since the beginning of August.

Puig has made 107 of his 123 starts this season batting either second or third. But after hitting fifth last Saturday in San Diego, then sixth for the first time on Monday against Washington, Puig hits seventh on Sunday.

"It's a place where you're not putting any extra pressure on him," Mattingly said. "Who do you want the extra at-bat going to? Right now, it's not necessarily Yasiel."

Mattingly said Puig has been putting in extra work with hitting coaches Mark McGwire and John Valentin, trying to regain his rhythm at the plate.

"He knows what's going on," Mattingly said. "You really have to come up with the mentality that you swing at strikes. Patience to me doesn't mean trying to walk, it means getting yourself a good pitch to hit, and not in a hurry to get the at-bat over."

Carl Crawford gets a day of rest in left field, with Andre Ethier getting his first start in eight games.

Drew Butera starts behind the plate for the Dodgers, with catcher A.J. Ellis sitting on his bobblehead day.