James Loney is on the bench for the third time in five games

James Loney is spending a lot of time on the bench recently.
(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

James Loney is out of the Dodgers’ lineup on Monday, marking the third time in five days he won’t start.

“The game tells you what to do,” Manager Don Mattingly said. “I’m trying to put a lineup out there that has a chance to win a game.”

Loney is batting .248 with two home runs and 16 runs batted in. At this point of his disappointing 2011 season, Loney was hitting .238 with two home runs and 15 RBIs.

Mattingly said the Dodgers had to get more production out of the first base position. Juan Rivera, who was activated from the disabled list earlier in the day, is slated to start there Monday.


Of Loney, Mattingly said, “I think he’s got like 16 RBIs. He’s on pace for 48 or something. It puts us in a little bit of a bind. It’s not necessarily power, it’s just production, as far as driving in some runs.”

Mattingly wouldn’t go as far to call Rivera his primary first baseman.

“At this point, I don’t know if I can say ‘primary’ because Juan’s also not a seven-day-a-week guy in our minds,” Mattingly said.

Philadelphia Phillies starter Vance Worley is right-handed, but Mattingly said he hesitated including the left-handed-hitting Loney in the lineup because the Phillies have four left-handers in their bullpen.

“It really puts you in a bind if you have all those lefties stacked in there together,” Mattingly said.

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