05/08/12 1:18 AM ET
Dodgers' new owners celebrate first home game
By Quinn Roberts / MLB.com
Television cameras lined the third-base foul line before the game, photographers snapped shots of the day's events and fans cheered as they filtered in to watch the Dodgers take on the Giants in the series opener.
To mark the special occasion, Magic Johnson, one of the team's new owners, escorted Rachel Robinson and Don Newcombe to the mound to throw out the celebratory first pitch.
Robinson, the widow of Dodgers Hall of Famer and civil-rights pioneer Jackie Robinson, and Newcombe, the Dodgers legend, signified a fresh start for a Dodgers franchise previously under the ownership of Frank McCourt from 2004-2012.
"It is a special day and the pregame ceremony is pretty cool," manager Don Mattingly said. "Guys are excited. It is an exciting time for us."
Guerra out as Dodgers' closer
LOS ANGELES -- Getting to the ballpark early before Monday's series opener against the Giants, Javy Guerra almost knew the decision was coming.
So when manager Don Mattingly came to him before the game, Guerra wasn't surprised when Mattingly told him that at this point in the season he'd no longer be the Dodgers' closer.
"I had a conversation with Javy today and I think he realized it was coming. He was very understanding," Mattingly said. "I said all along that I didn't want to do this and it is one of those things where I don't want to be hardheaded either. It is the games making the decision for me."
The deal breaker came Sunday against the Cubs when Guerra blew his third save of the season. He couldn't protect a one-run lead in the ninth, walking David DeJesus before allowing a game-tying double to Tony Campana in a game the Dodgers lost, 4-3, in 11 innings.
Guerra has three losses to go with three blown saves on the season. Overall, he's 1-3 with a 5.84 ERA and has converted eight of 11 saves this year.
"I was hoping his save in Colorado would build that confidence, but it has been too much and the uncertainty tells me I have to make that move," said Mattingly.
Guerra will now work out of the bullpen with no defined role, while Kenley Jansen will assume the position of closer. Jansen is 2-0 on the season with two saves and a 2.70 ERA. He's also tied for first in the Majors with 16 appearances.
"It is different being in during the ninth inning, but I just have to attack the hitters and not give the other team any chances," said Jansen.
It is Mattingly's hope that Guerra's new role will allow him to get back into form and return him to the pitcher that rattled off five straight saves to begin the season.
"More than anything, these guys want to win," Mattingly said. "Javy isn't wanting to not get guys out. In the end, I think he just wants to do what is best for the team, understanding he hasn't been getting guys out at the end of the games."
Kemp, Uribe back in Dodgers' starting lineup
LOS ANGELES -- While the Dodgers left Chicago uncertain about the health of a trio of players, the team received good news when it returned home Monday to open a three-game set against the Giants.
Jerry Hairston, who strained his left hamstring while running out an infield single in the second inning of Sunday's game against the Cubs, felt much better a day later.
"He is a lot better then we thought he would be," manager Don Mattingly said. "So we are kind of going to bite the bullet for a day or so and see where we are at."
What eases Mattingly's mind about Hairston is knowing that Juan Uribe can make starts as Hairston sits out a few days.
Uribe, who sat out the Dodgers' last five games with a sore left wrist, was penciled in at third base for Monday's game. He's still expected to get a precautionary MRI in the coming days.
"He got a shot in Colorado that really helped," Mattingly said. "He is getting relief and feeling much better. He's ready to roll."
Matt Kemp was also back in the starting lineup to extend his consecutive-games-played streak to 394. Scratched from Sunday's starting lineup with a tight left hamstring, Kemp completed a battery of tests before the game and didn't feel any tightness.
"He is 100 percent and ready to play," said Mattingly.
Honorary Bat Girl to be recognized Sunday
LOS ANGELES -- Major League Baseball announced the 30 winners of the Honorary Bat Girl program Monday, with the Dodgers' recipient being Lisa Nevolo-Lewis.
The program recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and demonstrate a commitment of "Going to Bat" in the fight against the disease.
Nevolo-Lewis will be recognized on Mother's Day before the start of the Dodgers' game against the Rockies.
During MLB's annual Mother's Day national day of recognition, the Honorary Bat Girl will take part in pregame activities, be honored during an on-field ceremony and receive pink MLB merchandise, along with two tickets to the game.
Nine-time Grammy award winner Bonnie Raitt, who lost her brother and close friends to cancer, recorded a special video at the MLB Fan Cave to lend her support to the Honorary Bat Girl initiative and the ongoing fight to eradicate the disease.
Also on Mother's Day, hundreds of MLB players will use pink bats by Louisville Slugger, stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo. Players and on-field personnel will also wear the symbolic pink ribbon on their uniforms along with pink wristbands. Commemorative dugout lineup cards also will be pink.
Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.