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Chase Utley is DH in Dodgers debut

Photo: LA Dodgers

Chase Utley will play his first game with the Dodgers at a new position, but no, not third base. At least not yet. The longtime second baseman will serve as the designated hitter in his Dodgers debut in the opener of a three-game series against the Astros on Friday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

This is the sixth career game at DH, and third this season, for Utley, who has started 1,440 games at second base in his career.

Utley is batting second, his 216th career start at that position in the batting order, and sixth time this season. He will wear No. 26, the number he has worn his entire career with the Phillies.

With Utley at DH, Kiké Hernandez starts at second base, his 10th straight start. Hernandez has played in every inning of the last nine games, with seven starts at second plus once each at shortstop and center field, hitting .343/.395/.486 during that span.

Hernandez made his major league debut on July 1, 2014 at Houston as an Astro, going 2-for-2 with a double and an RBI.

Andre Ethier gets the start in right field and Carl Crawford in left field, with Yasiel Puig still out of the lineup with right hamstring tightness. Manager Don Mattingly told reporters Puig might be available in Friday's opener, per Alanna Rizzo of SportsNet LA, and said, "I definitely expect him to play in this series," per J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News.