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Gavin Lux returns from injured list in utility role, Evan Phillips joins Dodgers roster

Pitchers Andre Jackson and Conner Greene were optioned to Triple-A

Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

Gavin Lux is back off the injured list after missing 25 games with a left hamstring strain, and starts for the Dodgers at third base on Tuesday, his first time at the position in the majors.

Lux has been sidelined since July 19, and played seven minor league rehab games with Triple-A Oklahoma City, going 7-for-22 (.318) with a double and two walks. Lux started five games in the field for OKC, including three times at third base, asked to add the position to his repertoire with Corey Seager returning to shortstop and Trea Turner acquired from the Nationals in Lux’s time on the shelf.

“Talking to Dino [Ebel, third base coach], who’s seen him quite a bit, he looks like a natural over there,” manager Dave Roberts said. “The arm plays, the glove plays, that quick burst, the lateral movement. I have all the confidence in the world in Gavin.”

Roberts also said Lux could see occasional time in right field as a way to get more playing time. “Right now for Gavin, it’s help any way you can,” Roberts added.

Third base is open for Lux on Tuesday with the Dodgers resting Justin Turner and Max Muncy, just as Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger didn’t start on Monday, in the middle of a stretch of 13 games in 13 days.

Matt Beaty starts at first base.

Dodgers-Pirates lineups

Pos Pirates Pos Dodgers
Pos Pirates Pos Dodgers
SS Newman 2B Turner
3B Hayes SS Seager (L)
CF Reynolds (S) C Smith
1B Tsutsugo (L) CF Bellinger (L)
C Stallings LF Pollock
RF Polanco (L) 1B Beaty (L)
2B Castro (S) RF Taylor
LF Gamel (L) 3B Lux (L)
P Crowe P Price (L)

Also joining the Dodgers is Evan Phillips, who was claimed off waivers from the Rays on Monday. He’ll join a Dodgers bullpen that’s been worked heavily of late. Phillips will wear uniform number 59.

Phillips is the fifth pitcher from off the 40-man roster to join the Dodgers bullpen in the last 11 days, along with Kevin Quackenbush (since designated for assignment), Justin Bruihl, Conner Greene, and Neftalí Féliz.

“It’s kind of circumstantial. For us, for the players, there’s a lot of moving parts, but what we have in place is very special,” Roberts said. “When you’ve got other little pieces that come in and out, it’s our job to make them feel comfortable. ... The coaches are fantastic, and it’s my job to put them in the right spots.”

The out part of the in-and-out that Roberts described was Greene and Andre Jackson getting optioned on Tuesday. For Jackson, it comes one day after four scoreless innings in his major league debut.

That essentially makes Saturday a bullpen game now, too, in addition to Wednesday. Potential fresh arms that could be added later in the week include Joe Kelly and Victor Gonzalez, the latter pitching a rehab game for Low-A in nearby Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday night, plus potentially Shane Greene as well.

Yoshi Tsutsugo, who signed with the Pirates on Monday and doubled as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning, starts at first base on Tuesday night, batting cleanup for Pittsburgh.