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PITTSBURGH -- The news that Major League Baseball suspended Giants left fielder Melky Cabrera 50 games for testing positive for testosterone, a performance-enhancing substance, sent shock waves around baseball on Wednesday, but there wasn't much focus on the development in a place where such an emphasis might have been expected.
Aside from the Giants, the team that is most affected by Cabrera's suspension is the Dodgers, who entered Wednesday tied with San Francisco for first place in the National League West. And while the teams will meet nine more times this season, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly wouldn't say how the division race might be different now that the Giants will be without Cabrera in their lineup.
"We're going to have to get somebody out. I'm not going there," Mattingly said. "We've got to be ready to play that day, and we're going to need a win every time we play them. Again, just try to win every day. I'm not worrying about them. I'm worried about us executing against whatever lineup they throw out there.
"We can't look at anybody to help us, we can't look at the schedule, anything like that. I mean, yeah, it's just silly stuff."
Cabrera ranks second in baseball with a .346 batting average. He also has 11 home runs and 60 RBIs.
As a coach with the Yankees from 2004-07, Mattingly got to know Cabrera, who played in New York from 2005-09. Upon hearing of Cabrera's suspension, the Dodgers manager admitted he was "a little bummed out."
"I know Melky's a good kid," Mattingly said. "Honestly, I like him a lot."
Although Mattingly didn't take the opportunity to discuss the division race on Wednesday, he did voice his advocacy for better testing in baseball. He believes the sport can and should do a better job of monitoring its athletes for performance-enhancing substances.
"I've said it before, I'll say it again: Protect players from themselves, protect the fans, protect the organizations," Mattingly said. "The fans, when they see guys play, to me it's about greatness, right? You want to see greatness. You love seeing Matt Kemp and [Andrew] McCutchen and these guys do unbelievable things. But at the end of the day, we want to think they did it because of talent and that they worked really hard to be able to do it. We don't want to think they did it because of any other reason. And so it protects the fans and it protects guys from each other."
Although the current system of drug testing worked in Cabrera's case, Mattingly still thinks it's in need of improvement. He said he's sure there are players out there who are taking performance-enhancing drugs and going unnoticed, which makes him hope that better testing is on the horizon.
"I hope it gets so good that you can't get away with anything, and guys know it," Mattingly said. "That, for me, would be the best."
After big night for Dodgers, Cruz back in lineup
PITTSBURGH -- There was no bigger offensive component to the Dodgers' 11-0 win over the Pirates on Tuesday night than Luis Cruz, who started at second base and hit seventh in Los Angeles' lineup.
Cruz went 3-for-5, scored one run and collected three RBIs. On Wednesday, he was back in the starting lineup batting seventh, but this time playing third base.
"These starts he's getting have been the same starts he's been getting before," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "We've got Hanley [Ramirez] at short. He's going to mix and match at third base. He'll get some starts at second base. That's just the way it's going to be."
In his last 10 at-bats entering Wednesday's game, Cruz has six hits, including two doubles. The 28-year-old has driven in four runs during that span.
"I just feel really good at the plate," Cruz said. "I don't know. I've been seeing the ball good and hitting the ball in the right spots."
The Dodgers called Cruz up from Triple-A Albuquerque on July 2. Since then, he has posted a .270 average with two home runs and 22 RBIs in 33 games. He's also batting .371 (13-for-35) with runners in scoring position.
"I think I've been working a lot, and feel really good," Cruz said. "I just want to do my job and improve what I can do. Hopefully, they like the way I play.
"I'm just happy because I'm here and I'm helping the team win. That's the most important thing for us."
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly didn't have any updates on infielder Jerry Hairston, who was recently placed on the 15-day disabled list with left hip inflammation. Mattingly said Hairston underwent an MRI on Tuesday at 9 a.m. ET.
"We just haven't heard any results yet," Mattingly said around 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
The Dodgers have won eight straight and 11 of their last 12 games against the Pirates. The club record for consecutive wins over Pittsburgh is 13, which was set in 1952.
Brahiam Maldonado, an outfielder at Double-A Chattanooga, was named the Southern League Hitter of the Week after batting .500 (10-for-20) with two doubles, two homers and three RBIs in six games last week.