Carl Crawford is starting to pile up hits and Manager Don Mattingly said he is aware he might have to find more playing time for the reserve left fielder.
“He’s starting to look kind of like himself again,” Mattingly said.
Crawford went into Saturday batting .500 with a home run and two doubles over his last 10 games. Crawford started only three times in that stretch, but Mattingly has seen enough to suspect the former All-Star could be on the verge of another one of his trademark hot streaks.
Last season, Crawford batted .326 over his final 61 games to establish himself as the team’s primary left fielder ahead of Andre Ethier.
Ethier now starts the majority of the games in left field, as he claimed the position while Crawford was sidelined for nearly three months because of a torn side muscle.
Mattingly said Crawford could earn more starts if he maintains his current form, and not necessarily at Ethier’s expense. On certain days, Mattingly could move Ethier to right field and sit Yasiel Puig.
With Scott Van Slyke sick and unavailable to play, Crawford made a rare start Saturday against a left-handed pitcher in Cincinnati Reds starter David Holmberg.
“When he gets hot, it seems like it doesn’t matter to him, lefty, righty, whatever,” Mattingly said.
Also heating up
Jimmy Rollins, who was batting .204 as recently as July 22, is also starting to gain momentum on offense.
Driving in Crawford with a second-inning single Saturday, Rollins has now hit safely in 14 of his last 16 games.
Rollins went into Saturday batting .312 in his last 20 games, a span over which he raised his average by 20 points.
Mattingly said Rollins has appeared particularly calm in recent weeks.
“Not that he wasn’t calm all year long, but it’s almost like, ‘This is the time of the year I have to play well, this is what I’m here for,’” Mattingly said. “I think he’s showing that leadership, that experience, of playing in a lot of big games, a lot of big situations. This is not too fast for him at all.”
Down on the farm
Mike Bolsinger, who lost his place in the rotation when Alex Wood and Mat Latos were acquired at the trade deadline, gave up only one run in seven innings for triple-A Oklahoma City.
Bolsinger’s previous appearance was as a reliever. Though the Dodgers want him to continue to be stretched out in case one of their starters is injured, they want to be able to use him out of the bullpen when rosters expand in September.
Rookie Joc Pederson will be honored in a pregame ceremony Sunday as the winner of the team’s Heart and Hustle Award. The award is presented by the Major League Baseball Alumni Assn. to players who “demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and tradition of the game.” … Clayton Kershaw, Adrian Gonzalez, A.J. Ellis and Van Slyke will share their religious experiences after the game as part of Christian Faith Day.