Dodgers’ Mookie Betts leaves game after getting hit in side by a pitch

Los Angeles Dodgers' Mookie Betts scores against the Angels during the first inning Sept. 26, 2020.
Mookie Betts was hit in the side by a first-inning pitch Saturday night but stayed in the game and scored, above. The Dodgers then removed him from the game for precautionary reasons.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

The Dodgers have nothing to play for until they host Game 1 of their wild-card series against a team to be determined. They’ve already clinched the National League West title, the No. 1 seed in the NL and home-field advantage throughout the postseason. So their three-game series against the Angels to conclude the regular season is about final tuneups and staying healthy.

On Saturday night, they got a scare when Mookie Betts was hit by a pitch in the side leading off the bottom of the first inning. Betts stayed in the game to run. He eventually scored the first of the Dodgers’ three runs in the inning but was still in pain when he returned to the dugout. Minutes later, he was replaced in right field by Kiké Hernández to start the second inning.

The Dodgers said Betts left the game for precautionary reasons.

Betts, 27, has been one of the best players in the majors this season, putting him in contention to win his second career MVP award. He entered Saturday batting .292 with 16 home runs and a .925 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 54 games. His 3.3 bWAR led all major leaguers.