Gordon has been hot hitter since benching

Gordon has been hot hitter since benching

Published Jun. 19, 2012 11:55 a.m. ET

One month ago, Dee Gordon was struggling mightily. The Dodgers shortstop was in a 2-for-31 slump that had dropped his batting average all the way to .200.

The leadoff man had an on-base percentage of just .239 after going 0-for-5 against the Cardinals on May 18. Manager Don Mattingly benched Gordon after that game, limiting Gordon to just one pinch-hit appearance over the next three days.

Gordon walked in that pinch-hit appearance and then was eased back into the lineup batting eighth instead of first. He has hit pretty much ever since.

Gordon hit .308 with a .341 on-base percentage in 11 games batting eighth, then moved back into the leadoff role on June 3. In 14 games back at the top of the lineup, Gordon has hit .276 with a .354 on-base percentage, seven stolen bases and 10 runs scored in 14 games.

"He seems calmer. I've heard the saying 'You can't see the forest for the trees' because you get so close to it you don't see what you're doing," Mattingly said. "My thinking was, just being able to step back and watch some games, being able to do some work without having to go compete, to give him a chance to step back away from it and slow down."

Gordon's on-base percentage since getting benched is .355, a marked improvement from the beginning of the year. His turnaround culminated in a walk-off single in the 10th inning on Sunday, part of a 2-for-5 day.

"It feels great to come through for my teammates," Gordon said on Sunday.

Harang returns to where his career began
   --RHP Aaron Harang will start for the Dodgers on Tuesday as they open a series against the A's. It will be the first time since 2003 that Harang has pitched in Oakland, where he began his major league career. "It will be fun to go back there and pitch," Harang said.
   --OF Bobby Abreu walked as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning and scored the tying run Sunday against the White Sox. Abreu is hitting .375 (3-for-8) as a pinch hitter this season for the Dodgers and has hit .324 with a .439 on-base percentage so far in June.
   --RHP Ronald Belisario pitched two scoreless innings on Sunday to earn his third win of the season. The reliever, who missed all of the 2011 season because of visa issues in his home of Venezuela, has allowed one run in 10 1/3 innings in June, and opposing batters have been held to a .065 batting average (2-for-31).
   --INF/OF Jerry Hairston Jr. went 0-for-4 on Sunday to extend his slump to 0-for-17, though he has walked six times during that span. Hairston's slump began one day after he hit a home run and two doubles against the Mariners on June 9 and had a career-high five RBI.
   --C Matt Treanor was 1-for-4 on Sunday and has reached base via hit or walk in 10 straight games, dating to April 29. He has hit .375 (12-for-32) during that span. Treanor, who has started 14 of the Dodgers' first 67 games, has been a valuable backup catcher, hitting .295 with two home runs and a .523 slugging percentage this season.
   BY THE NUMBERS: .355 -- On-base percentage for Dee Gordon in 26 games since getting briefly benched on May 18.
   QUOTE TO NOTE: "It feels great to come through for my teammates." -- SS Dee Gordon, on his walk-off single Sunday to beat the White Sox 2-1.