Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 5/14/12
Dee Gordon has had a rough start to the 2012 season, but the Dodgers don't have plans to move him down in the lineup, or to the bench, anytime soon. Gordon had an 0-for-14 slump through Sunday and is hitting .211 with a .250 on-base percentage. He was held out of the starting lineup Sunday for just the fifth time in 34 games this season. Manager Don Mattingly doesn't plan to make a habit of benching Gordon, nor does he plan to move Gordon from the leadoff spot despite the low on-base percentage. "Dropping Dee in the order sounds really easy, but who do I hit there? I really don't have a leadoff guy," Mattingly said. "If I had an alternative, I'd consider it. I still have to think about it." The Dodgers have gotten off to a hot start, at 23-11, and have a six-game lead in the National League West. Mattingly is using that cushion to give Gordon more time to grow into his role and snap out of his early-season funk. "I know we can't force a square peg into a round hole, but we have been able to sustain so far without Dee getting going, and being the guy we saw late in the year last year that we think will be successful," Mattingly said. "We still think that's going to happen, and we need to keep nurturing and keep talking to Dee to try and find that." Gordon hit .304 last year with a .325 on-base percentage. He won National League Rookie of the Month honors in September by hitting .372 with a .398 on-base percentage in his second stint with the club. The Dodgers are banking on a similar rebound this season. NOTES, QUOTES Kemp will have MRI after hamstring forces him out --CF Matt Kemp left Sunday's game against Colorado after just three innings, with an irritated left hamstring. It is the same injury Kemp suffered on May 6 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, and Kemp will undergo an MRI on Monday. "I think I just need to let it heal for a little bit. I don't know how much time that's going to take, but we'll see," Kemp said. "I'm definitely not going on the DL. That's not happening. This team needs me." --LHP Ted Lilly allowed three first-inning runs to the Rockies on Sunday at home, matching the total allowed in his previous 23 innings against the Rockies at Dodger Stadium since joining the Dodgers in August 2010. Lilly ended up allowing five runs but pitched into the seventh inning for his fifth win of the season in the Dodgers' 11-5 triumph. --C A.J. Ellis went 2-for-4 on Sunday against Colorado with a home run and a career-high four RBI, and he has reached base via hit or walk in a career-high 23 straight games. --OF Tony Gwynn Jr. drove in the winning run with a pinch-hit RBI single Saturday night against the Rockies, the second time in three games that Gwynn delivered the eventual winning run with a pinch hit. Gwynn has two singles and a triple in his last three pinch-hit at-bats. --RHP Aaron Harang pitched eight innings, allowing one run in a 2-1 win Saturday over Colorado. It was his longest outing since pitching eight shutout innings against the Dodgers, for the Padres, on Sept. 24. --OF Scott Van Slyke doubled and walked Sunday in his second major league game, and through his first three plate appearances with the Dodgers was hitting 1.0001.0001.500. BY THE NUMBERS: .462 -- On-base percentage for C A.J. Ellis through Sunday, second in the majors to David Wright of the Mets. QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'm definitely not going on the DL. That's not happening. This team needs me." -- Matt Kemp, after irritating his left hamstring and leaving Sunday's game against Colorado after just three innings. ROSTER REPORT MEDICAL WATCH: --CF Matt Kemp (hamstring) left the May 13 game against Colorado after just three innings. Kemp was to undergo an MRI on May 14. --INFOF Jerry Hairston Jr. (strained left hamstring) left the May 6 game, and he did not play May 7-9. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list May 11 retroactive to May 7. --OF1B Juan Rivera (ruptured left semitendinosus) went on the 15-day disabled list May 9. He could be sidelined for six-to-eight weeks. --RHP Matt Guerrier (right elbow tendinitis) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 19. --RHP Blake Hawksworth (arthroscopic right elbow surgeries in January 2012 and February 2012) went on the 60-day disabled list March 27. --RHP Rubby De La Rosa (Tommy John surgery in August 2011) went on the 60-day disabled list March 26.
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