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Mookie Betts still out of Dodgers lineup for a 3rd straight game

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LA will reevaluate Betts on Sunday

Los Angeles Dodgers v Oakland Athletics Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Mookie Betts is still out of the Dodgers starting lineup on Saturday against the Nationals, and will miss his third straight game over the last four days with lower back stiffness.

Betts last played on Tuesday. He was scratched on Wednesday with lower back stiffness, then missed Friday’s game, too. He won’t be available in Saturday’s game, either.

The Dodgers will monitor Betts, who hit on the field on Friday and is expected to do some pregame work Saturday. Roberts said he did not expect an injured list stint.

Dodgers-Nationals lineups

Pos Nationals Pos Dodgers
Pos Nationals Pos Dodgers
CF Robles CF Taylor
SS Turner SS Seager (L)
RF Soto (L) 3B Turner
1B Zimmerman C Smith
3B Castro 1B Muncy (L)
2B Mercer LF Pollock
C Gomes 2B Lux (L)
LF Pérez RF McKinstry (L)
P Corbin (L) P Urías (L)

“He continues to get treatment, and is feeling a little bit better,” manager Dave Roberts said. “Talking to the training staff, we’re going to stay away from him tonight, and see how he feels tomorrow.”

With Monday’s looming off day, it’s reasonable to expect the Dodgers to be cautious and sit him Sunday as well.

“I think once he’s ready to come back, it’ll be to start again,” Roberts said.

Since Betts joined the Dodgers, the team is 56-20 (.737) in games he starts, including the postseason, and 50-15 (.769) when he bats leadoff. They are 6-4 in games he doesn’t start.

Patrick Corbin starts the middle game of the series for the Nationals. He was activated from the injured list before Saturday’s game, with pitcher Kyle McGowin optioned to the taxi squad.

With both Betts and Cody Bellinger out, the Dodgers lineup includes four left-handers against the left-hander Corbin, including Zack McKinstry in right field for Betts. The available bench includes lefties Edwin Ríos, Matt Beaty, Luke Raley, and right-handed catcher Austin Barnes.

“That’s kind of the roster right now,” Roberts said. “We have a lot of good players, even without those two guys.”

Bullpen work

Dodgers reliever Brusdar Graterol pitched a simulated inning against Luke Raley and Matt Beaty at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, and struck out all three batters faced, throwing fastballs — at 96-97 mph — and sliders.

Graterol, who is on the injured list, is expected to return to the alternate site before getting activated.

“We’re going to circle up here and figure out the plan of attack on Brusdar,” Roberts said. “We’re hoping to get him back soon, but I’m hesitant to put a date on it.

Tony Gonsolin, on the injured list with right shoulder inflammation, will throw a bullpen session Sunday. He’s still experiencing some soreness in his shoulder.