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Justin Turner starts 5th straight day, Chase Utley gets 1st day off

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- Chase Utley took ground balls at third base before batting practice on Saturday at Dodger Stadium, but he won't be starting the middle game against the Cubs, getting his first game off since joining the Dodgers.

Utley started his first seven games as a Dodger, including the last six at second base. He figures to be in the mix to back up third base once Howie Kendrick returns in early September from his hamstring injury.

Bench coach Tim Wallach has a few more training sessions at third base planned for Utley. Manager Don Mattingly said it was too early to judge Utley at third.

"It's too early for me, this is just his just his second time out there," Mattingly said. "Hopefully by the time Howie is ready to roll, Chase is more comfortable."

The incumbent at third base, Justn Turner, is back in the lineup on Saturday for a fifth straight day, the first time all season the Dodgers have started him more than four days in a row.

This will be Turner's 13th straight start at third base; the club has had three scheduled off days mixed in during that span.

The club has been proactive about getting Turner rest in an effort to avoid injury and to keep him fresh and productive. But Mattingly intimated on Friday some of the clamps might come off, though Turner will still receive semi-regular days off.

"Right now we feel like he's ready to go. It's that time of year, guys want to play," Mattingly said. "He's all clear to play."

Jose Peraza gets the call at second base against Cubs left-hander Jon Lester.

With outfielder Yasiel Puig on the disabled list and Alex Guerrero seemingly a man without a position right now, the Dodgers will likely have to start at least one left-handed batter in the outfield against southpaw pitchers. On Saturday that falls on Carl Crawford, getting the start in left field.

Crawford in limited duty is hitting .310/.379/.429 in August. On the season he has just 16 plate appearances against left-handers, going 4-for-14 (.286) with two walks (.375 on-base percentage).