Yasiel Puig hurts right hamstring again in Dodgers' 1-0 win over Reds

Yasiel Puig hurts right hamstring again in Dodgers' 1-0 win over Reds
Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig leaves the field with trainer Stan Conte after injuring his right hamstring while running to first base on Aug. 27 in Cincinnati. (Joe Robbins / Getty Images)

Yasiel Puig was starting to find his form, compiling a season-long 10-game hitting streak and looking like the kind of player who could make a difference for the Dodgers in the final months of the season.

Whatever momentum Puig gained in recent weeks might have been halted Thursday in an otherwise uplifting 1-0 victory for the Dodgers that completed a three-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.

While Adrian Gonzalez was confident his bruised knee would allow him to return to the starting lineup Friday when the Dodgers open a three-game home series against the Chicago Cubs, Puig was uncertain when he would play next.

Puig, who was sidelined for five weeks earlier this season with a strained left hamstring, has a strained right hamstring. Again.


"We'll see what happens in the week that we're home," he said. "We'll see if I can play or not."

The first of Puig's two hits Thursday helped set up the only run the Dodgers scored in support of starting pitcher Zack Greinke. The single loaded the bases against Anthony DeSclafani in the second inning and moved Justin Turner into position to score when Yasmani Grandal grounded into a double play.

Puig's second hit landed him back on the trainer's table.

Puig pulled up as he ran through first base for a ninth-inning infield single off Reds closer Aroldis Chapman. With the Dodgers encountering a shortage of bench players, reliever Juan Nicasio had to run in his place.

"I felt it a little more than when I hurt it in Oakland," Puig said in Spanish.

Puig strained his right hamstring on Aug. 18 running out an infield single. An MRI examination he underwent at the time revealed what Manager Don Mattingly described as a "very mild" strain. Puig was sidelined for only two games, but said he had never completely recovered.

Still, he was hitting.

Puig homered Wednesday in the second of the Dodgers' three games in Cincinnati. The home run was only his 11th of the season, but was his third in his last 11 games.

"With the treatment I was receiving, I was able to withstand the games," he said. "It wasn't that severe that time. Now, God willing, this one isn't that severe, either."

His two hits Thursday raised his season average to a modest .256, but he was gaining confidence.

"I'm improving my hitting, but this happened with my leg again," he said. "I can't do anything about that. All I can do is continue working, continue receiving treatment and see what destiny brings me in this final month."

Recalling how a strained left hamstring kept him out for five weeks, Puig said he intended to be patient.

"I'm not going to hurry this time because I don't want what happened to my left hamstring to happen," he said.

Puig didn't think another MRI exam was necessary. "We already know what's wrong," he said.

Regardless of the severity of this particular injury, Puig is unlikely to be placed on the disabled list because teams will be permitted to expand to as many as 40 players on Tuesday.

While the Dodgers were uncertain of Puig's status, they were upbeat about Gonzalez's.

Gonzalez fouled a pitch off his right knee in the third inning, then removed himself from the game two innings later. Scott Van Slyke replaced him at first base.

"It started to swell a little bit," Gonzalez said. "I didn't want it to swell too much. I'd rather take today off and be available tomorrow than play the rest of the game not feeling good and possibly not be able to go tomorrow."

Asked if he would be in the lineup Friday, Gonzalez replied, "100%."

Gonzalez leads the Dodgers with 24 home runs and 74 runs batted in.

Up next

Left-hander Clayton Kershaw (10-6, 2.29 earned-run average) will face right-hander Jason Hammel (7-5, 3.35) and the Chicago Cubs on Friday at Dodger Stadium at 7 p.m. TV: SportsNet LA; Radio: 570, 1020.

Twitter: @dylanohernandez