Versatile Hairston a key addition for Dodgers

In the offseason the Dodgers signed super utility man Jerry Hairston
Jr., entering his age-36 season, to a two-year, $6 million contract, the
largest contract Hairston has ever signed. So far, it has proven to be a
bargain for the Dodgers.

Hairston homered and drove in a
career-high five runs on Saturday in Seattle, and he is hitting a
scorching 20-for-47 with 11 RBI in 16 games since returning from the
disabled list on May 25.

Clayton Kershaw picked up the win on
Saturday in Seattle and told MLB.com, “Fortunately for me, Jerry
Hairston was playing today.”

Hairston has been playing a lot of
late, starting 13 of 17 games since returning from the DL. He has
started games at third base and in left field this year and has even
played briefly at both shortstop and first base, but Hairston has found a
home at second base, where he has started nine of the last 11 games.

Hairston
has moved around the lineup as well. He hit third for the first time in
his career on May 27 and went 5-for-5. He has hit cleanup three times
in June, the first three times in his career he started in a lineup
batting fourth, and was 3-for-10 with a double and two RBI in those
games.

The Dodgers return home Monday with the best record in baseball at 39-22, and the versatile Hairston has been a big reason why.

NOTES, QUOTES
Abreu a bright spot on road trip
  
–OF Bobby Abreu went 2-for-4 Sunday with a double, the 564th double of
his career. On the Dodgers’ 10-game road trip, Abreu hit .350
(7-for-20) with a double, a home run, and a .480 on-base percentage.
  
–OF Alex Castellanos is in a 1-for-16 slump and is hitting just
3-for-21 in 11 games in his first stint in the big leagues. Castellanos,
who hit .379 with 19 extra-base hits in 22 games with Albuquerque,
joins a trio of power-hitting Triple A outfielders who have struggled
with the Dodgers this season. Castellanos, Scott Van Slyke, and Jerry
Sands have combined to hit .181 (13-for-72) with two walks and 23
strikeouts.
   –RF Andre Ethier hit a grand slam in the second
inning on Sunday in Seattle to snap a 1-for-26 slump. But the right
fielder is hitting just .116 (5-for-43) since Matt Kemp was placed on
the disabled list.
   –RHP Chad Billingsley allowed just one run on
two hits in a win on Sunday over Seattle, his second consecutive start
allowing one run in seven innings in a win. Billingsley had a 5.52 ERA
in May and hadn’t won a game since April 11 before winning each of his
last two starts.
   –SS Jesmuel Valentin, the Dodgers’ 2012
supplemental first round draft pick, No. 51 overall, has signed with the
team and will report to the club’s facility at Camelback Ranch in
Glendale, Arizona for mini-camp. “He is an absolute major league
defender. He’s very polished and very good,” said Dodgers assistant
general manager Logan White last week.
   BY THE NUMBERS:
6 — Consecutive interleague road series lost by the Dodgers before
winning two of three games against the Mariners in Seattle over the
weekend.
   QUOTE TO NOTE:
“Nobody no-hits us two days in a row.” — C A.J. Ellis deadpanned to
MLB.com, regarding the Dodgers scoring eight runs on 14 hits one night
after getting no-hit by the Mariners.

ROSTER REPORT
   MEDICAL WATCH:
  
–LHP Clayton Kershaw (plantar fasciitis) has been bothered by the foot
irritation when he runs, but he said it doesn’t affect him when he
pitches.
   –RHP Javy Guerra (right knee inflammation) went on the
15-day disabled list retroactive to June 3. He underwent surgery June 5
and will be out until July.
   –CF Matt Kemp (strained left
hamstring) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 14. He
began a rehab assignment with Class AAA Albuquerque on May 27, and he
was activated May 29. He re-injured the hamstring May 30 and left the
game. He went back on the 15-day disabled list May 31, and he is
expected to be out until at least late June.
   –LHP Ted Lilly (left
shoulder inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to
May 24. An MRI showed no damage, so he won’t need surgery. But he still
can’t throw.
   –INF Justin Sellers (bulging lower back disk) went
on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 23. The problem was
causing him numbness in his right leg.
   –2B Mark Ellis (left leg
surgery) went on the 15-day disabled list May 19. He had to have a
second surgery May 21 to drain his swollen left leg, two days after
having an emergency fasciotomy to relieve pressure in the leg. He will
be out until at least mid-July.
   –RHP Matt Guerrier (right elbow
tendinitis) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 19,
and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 4. He threw a bullpen
session May 16 and then had to rest for three days with elbow soreness.
He had more elbow pain May 23, slowing his recovery again. He isn’t
expected to return until after the All-Star break.
   –3B Juan Uribe
(sprained left wrist) went on the 15-day disabled list May 14. He began
taking batting practice in late May and is scheduled to go on a rehab
assignment during the weekend of June 8-10.
   –RHP Blake Hawksworth
(arthroscopic right elbow surgeries in January 2012 and February 2012)
went on the 60-day disabled list March 27. He played in an intrasquad
game in at the Dodgers’ Arizona facility on May 24.
   –RHP Rubby De La Rosa (Tommy John surgery in August 2011) went on the 60-day disabled list March 26.