8/22/2014 8:02 P.M. ET
Turner excelling as Uribe's replacement
By Michael Lananna / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Justin Turner called it one of the most exciting moments of his career.
The third baseman took a Tyson Ross slider and drilled it into the left-field bleachers, and without Turner's eighth-inning, two-run shot Thursday, the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw might've been 1-0 losers to the Padres. They won, 2-1.
It came a night before the Dodgers would host his former team, the Mets, whose decision to non-tender him came as a surprise to him and his manager.
But Turner found a new home with the Dodgers this offseason and has been a valuable piece, batting .314/.386/.441 in 220 at-bats coming into Friday's matchup and filling a reserve infielder role that Nick Punto had filled admirably.
"Obviously, Justin's had a good year at this point for us," manager Don Mattingly said. "All year long, it seems like from the very beginning, he struggled a little bit getting out of the gate, but he's been swinging the bat really well off the bench. Pinch-hitting, he's been really good, so pretty much everything about him has been good for us this year.
"He's been able to play multiple positions and give you good at-bats against righties and lefties, so there's really not a whole lot of negative that's going on with Justin."
Turner has been the starting third baseman in Juan Uribe's two stints on the disabled list this season. Since Uribe went on the disabled list Aug. 16 with a right hamstring strain, Turner has been batting .412 (7-for-17) with a home run and five RBIs.
Mattingly said Friday, however, that Turner would return to his bench role once Uribe is healthy enough to play -- which should be when his 15 days are up, Mattingly said.
"We'll get back to Juan," Mattingly said. "We're still not there yet, so I'm not really worried about it. With J.T. we know I got to be careful with him, as far as too many days in a row. So I don't think it's going to be a problem."
Mattingly not worried about slumping Puig, offense
LOS ANGELES -- Yasiel Puig has looked a "little bit tired" of late, manager Don Mattingly said Friday.
The center fielder is batting .260/.308/.288 in August, tallying just two extra-base hits -- both doubles -- and four walks in 19 games.
"Obviously, you want him to do better," Mattingly said. "But I don't really look at it any certain way other than just he's going through a little stretch like everybody goes through."
The Dodgers as a whole, though, have hit a bit of a power outage this month. The Dodgers rank 22nd in the Majors with a .350 slugging percentage and are tied for 20th with 12 home runs in August.
"I think our offense comes in stretches," Mattingly said. "I worry about us winning games, having good at-bats. When we do that, I'm not really worried about the home runs. When you run into good pitching, they're going to slow you down.
"At times, it's easy to get caught in one games or two games, and when you go through it, it's frustrating. But I know guys are trying. I'm not concerned with us not trying. I just know it's part of our game."
Mattingly said he thought the power outage extends across baseball. He pointed toward the National League home run leaders as an example. Miami's Giancarlo Stanton is first with 32, but the Braves' Justin Upton ranks third with just 24, he said.
"Home runs are way down all over the place, so it's not like we're the only club not hitting homers," Mattingly said. "Offense is down in general. Pitching is that good right now. I think guys strike out more now. They put the ball in play less. Pitching seems to have passed the hitting right now."
• Mattingly said that Hanley Ramirez (right oblique) is still on pace to return from the disabled list on Sunday, and he will return at shortstop.
However, Mattingly said he wouldn't hesitate to bring in Miguel Rojas or Erisbel Arruebarrena -- both of whom he's called outstanding shortstops -- as defensive replacements late in games that the Dodgers are leading.
• Left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu threw off the bullpen mound for the second straight day Friday as tries to come back from a right gluteus strain, which put him on the disabled list Aug. 15.
• The Dodgers announced Friday that due to unforeseen circumstances, approximately 15,000 of the 40,000 Matt Kemp figurines scheduled to be given away Sunday won't be available. The Dodgers will issue vouchers to fans that can be redeemed from Sept. 1-28 at the Top of the Park Merchandise Store at Dodger Stadium.
Michael Lananna is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.