07/14/12 2:27 AM ET
Hairston takes turn in leadoff spot for Dodgers
By Alex Angert and Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
At Thursday's team workout, Mattingly mentioned Hairston, as well as Bobby Abreu and Tony Gwynn, as possibilities to bat leadoff. He batted Elian Herrera there twice and Gwynn twice in the four games without Gordon before the All-Star break.
Abreu and Hairston have never started a game batting leadoff for the Dodgers -- Abreu did twice for the Angels -- while Gwynn has started 18 games this season atop the lineup. None of the three is an everyday starter, which means the position should rotate often while Gordon recovers from thumb surgery that will keep him shelved for six weeks.
However, both Abreu (51 starts) and Hairston (322) have experience batting first in their careers, and neither are concerned with where in the lineup they hit.
Hairston went 1-for-4 and scored a run in Friday's 2-1 win over the Padres.
"I just go out and play and play the game like I know how," said Hairston, who has now hit in every spot this year but eighth. "Whether I'm hitting leadoff, second, third, I'm just trying to hit the ball hard and have good at-bats. If I have good at-bats, then I'm happy."
Abreu echoed the same feeling.
"It doesn't matter what number I hit," he said. "I do my job, get on base and work the count. That's what I always do. Leadoff would be no problem for me. That's where you can start rallies, get on base for the guys in the middle of the lineup to do the damage."
Guerra to take bereavement leave to be with father
LOS ANGELES -- Javy Guerra, who pitched a scoreless inning of relief in the Dodgers' 2-1 win over the Padres on Friday night, will take a bereavement leave Saturday to be with his father, who is hospitalized in Mexico after suffering a heart attack Friday morning.
Guerra said his father is scheduled for open-heart surgery Saturday, and he spent Friday figuring out travel and passport details, which is why manager Don Mattingly had mixed feelings about asking Guerra to pitch the seventh inning after the Dodgers had taken a one-run lead.
"I was a little nervous for Javy. He's got stuff going on at home," Mattingly said. "But he was good."
Guerra said coming to the ballpark was a welcome, if temporary, distraction.
"I'm thankful I came out here for the day," he said. "It wears on you and it was good to see the guys and come back to the field so you don't think about it so much."
Guerra will be traveling to Nuevo Laredo, just across the Texas border. He said his father might need a stent.
"I'm praying for the best but prepared for the worst," he said. He learned of his father's condition on a phone call from his mother Friday morning.
The Dodgers will likely place Guerra on the bereavement list for a minimum of three days and a maximum of seven days. A likely callup is right-hander Josh Wall, who has 18 saves but a 5.68 ERA at Triple-A Albuquerque.
Kemp, Ethier return; Herrera, Van Slyke sent down
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers activated outfielders Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier off the disabled list Friday and made room by optioning Elian Herrera and Scott Van Slyke to Triple-A Albuquerque.
Herrera, despite making an immediate impact when he finally got the promotion after nine years in the Minor Leagues, has been passed by another newcomer, Luis Cruz. Herrera, batting .305 as recently as June 17, is 9-for-64 (.140) since.
Van Slyke is hitting .167 in two callups with two homers and seven RBIs.
Kemp, who missed nearly two months with a strained left hamstring, had a double, single, groundout and flyout in the Dodgers' 2-1 win over the Padres. Ethier, who missed two weeks with a strained oblique muscle, grounded out, grounded into a double play and was hit by a pitch.
Belisario back in LA after travel issues at break
LOS ANGELES -- Reliever Ronald Belisario was back in Los Angeles on Friday after missing Thursday night's Dodger Stadium workout because he was stuck at the immigration office in the Miami airport on his way home from his native Venezuela.
He said he wasn't given a reason for why he was detained, but said he was forced to wait about an hour before being released. He was on the next flight about 4 1/2 hours later, and he said arrived in L.A. at approximately 9:45 p.m. PT.
Belisario said he was mad at the time while connecting in Miami, but he had calmed down by Friday afternoon when he was back in the Dodgers clubhouse.
After talking to his reliever, manager Don Mattingly said he wasn't upset and that it wasn't Belisario's fault.
Belisario, who sports a 1.48 ERA after pitching a scoreless eighth in the Dodgers' 2-1 win over the Padres, missed all of 2011 when he couldn't obtain a visa after testing positive for cocaine. He missed the first 25 games of this season serving an ensuing suspension.