Juan Uribe has a bench seat in this Dodgers victory

Juan Uribe has a bench seat in this Dodgers victory
Juan Uribe takes in batting on April 11. Uribe has an 11-game hitting streak but watched from the dugout Saturday as the Dodgers opted to start Justin Turner at third base for the second game in a row. (Matt York / Associated Press)

Juan Uribe lived through the summer of Luis Cruz, when a journeyman infielder apparently sold his soul for the season of his life.

That was in 2012, when Cruz displaced Uribe as the Dodgers' third baseman. Cruz vanished from the major leagues the following year. Uribe still is with the Dodgers, still is their third baseman.

Or is he? On Saturday, for the second game, Uribe was benched for the Dodgers' 6-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Justin Turner, who started in his place Friday and Saturday, homered for the second consecutive game and scored three times.

Rookie Joc Pederson homered for the fourth consecutive game, this one a solo shot that tied the score in the seventh inning. Turner followed with a double, and Adrian Gonzalez singled home Turner with the winning run.


The Dodgers improved their home record to 12-2.

Uribe, who watched from the dugout, has an 11-game hitting streak. He grinned as he thought back to the summer of Cruz.

"They put me away," Uribe said, smiling. "This is not the first time they have done this to me."

Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said Uribe would return to the starting lineup Sunday. But he also displayed a flash of irritation when talking about the decision not to start Uribe on Saturday.

In pregame meetings with the media, managers generally explain lineup changes so fans can be informed.

On Friday, Mattingly joked he could not say he had given Uribe a day to rest, since the Dodgers did not play Thursday.

On Saturday, asked why Uribe was out of the lineup again, Mattingly said he did not need to explain every lineup change.

"I'm not getting into the reasons why every day," Mattingly said.

Uribe is batting .278, with three extra-base hits in 54 at-bats. Turner is batting .300, with seven extra-base hits in 40 at-bats.

Uribe said he is not injured.

"He's fine," Mattingly said. "He's probably mad as hell."

Uribe said he did not know why he was not playing but was not mad about it, drawing comfort from how he survived the summer of Cruz.

"I'm here for whatever the team needs," Uribe said. "I work hard every day. When the team needs me, I'll be ready."

Mattingly said he is trying to make sure Uribe, Turner, third baseman/left fielder Alex Guerrero and outfielder Scott Van Slyke all get at-bats as long as each is hitting well.

"The challenge of that is something I like," Mattingly said. "I don't necessarily like having to have all the conversations" with each affected player.

Uribe posted a career-high .311 batting average last season, but he was on the disabled list twice. His contract expires at the end of this season.

With Guerrero playing his way into consideration as a long-term option at third base, and with $62.5-million Cuban infielder Hector Olivera expected to join the Dodgers later this season, Uribe does not figure in the Dodgers' long-term plans.

For now, though, Mattingly said the 36-year-old has not lost his job.

"It's pretty much, 'Juan's our guy.' That's the way I look at it," Mattingly said. "Everybody else mixes in after that."

Twitter: @BillShaikin