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04/13/12 10:12 PM ET

Mattingly rests Gordon, Loney vs. lefty Richard

LOS ANGELES -- With the Dodgers facing Padres left-hander Clayton Richard in Friday's series opener, manager Don Mattingly decided to rest a few of his left-handed hitters.

Justin Sellers started in place of Dee Gordon at shortstop, while Juan Rivera was at first base in place of James Loney.

After Gordon went 0-for-4 with three fly-ball outs in Thursday's game against the Pirates, Mattingly felt Gordon looked a little fatigued and could use the day off.

"Dee hit some fly balls yesterday and kind of got out of his game. So, we'll give him a day off and get Justin out there," Mattingly said. "That is the beauty of having Justin. You get a guy who can really pick it at short. It is just the day for it."

With Gordon in his first full Major League season, Mattingly wants to make sure he's not overworked.

"He has a lot of responsibility, playing short and stealing bags," Mattingly said. "We are just giving him a mental day off, and it won't hurt him a bit."

While Loney did get his first hit of the season in Thursday's contest, he's struggled in his six starts this season, batting just .050 with two RBIs.

Mattingly said Loney will start the final two games against right-handers Joe Wieland and Edinson Volquez.

"I like playing our guys, and if James was crushing it, he would be in the lineup tonight, but he has struggled," Mattingly said. "It gets him a day.

"I just wanna get him going and let him line up and get him going against right-handers. We have two the next couple of days, and he'll be in there then."

Dodgers defense living up to expectations

LOS ANGELES -- Thanks in part to three reigning Gold Glove Award winners in Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Clayton Kershaw, manager Don Mattingly had high expectations for the Dodgers' defense coming into the season.

And only seven games in, the team has yet to disappoint. Committing only two errors so far, Los Angeles has a .993 fielding percentage, the best in the National League.

"I kind of expected the team to be this good defensively this season," Mattingly said. "We were third in the league last year in defense. James [Loney], Mark [Ellis] and Juan [Rivera] can all pick it. I really thought we'd be good defensively."

With Kemp, Ethier and Kershaw all receiving their Gold Glove Awards before Friday's game against the Padres, Mattingly believes the Dodgers will put out a solid defensive team every night.

"Defense is one of those things that you should be good at every day. It is just a matter of wanting to be a good defensive player," Mattingly said. "To be in the right spot, to throw to the right base, that is all just a matter of wanting to be a good player. That should be there every night."

Scully misses fourth straight game with cold

LOS ANGELES -- Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully missed his fourth consecutive game Friday night with a bad cold.

The Dodgers said Scully is improving and could be back as soon as Saturday.

Charley Steiner and Steve Lyons called the game on PRIME TICKET, while Rick Monday and Kevin Kennedy were behind the microphone on AM 570 Fox Sports Los Angeles for the opener against the Padres.

Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.