Carl Crawford scratched with back stiffness, Yasiel Puig returns

Dodgers left fielder Carl Crawford was scratched from the lineup with lower back stiffness before batting practice Friday, but rookie Yasiel Puig will start in right field after leaving a 6-1 win in the eighth inning Thursday with an aggravated left hip.

Skip Schumacher, back from his two-game suspension for his role in the June 11 brawl against Arizona, will start in place of Crawford in left field and bat leadoff.

“He's having a little back stiffness,” Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said of Crawford. “He’ll be available like he was yesterday just to bunt and run. He tried to hit a little bit today but it seems like it’s not quite where he wants it.”

Crawford returned from the disabled list July 5 after a hamstring injury, but is two for 25 with six strikeouts since.

“I think it’s minor. Carl is a guy we have to pay attention to see how much work he does,” Mattingly said. “He struggled on that road trip ... but we have to monitor him and not let him do too much.”

Puig originally injured his right hip when leaping into the right-field wall at Coors Field on July 3. 

“We’ll see how it goes,” Mattingly said. “If he can’t move [well], he won’t play. Let’s hope he loosens up. It’s soreness.”

The Dodgers, who sit 1 1/2 games back of first-place Arizona, have won five in a row and 16 of their last 19 games. Ace Clayton Kershaw will start Friday night against the Diamondbacks' Juan Nicasio.

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