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Dodgers RF Yasiel Puig activated from DL, starts vs. Padres

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig was activated from the disabled list and started Saturday night's game against the visiting San Diego Padres.

Puig has been sidelined since Aug. 27 with a strained right hamstring but has reportedly shown significant improvement in recent days and spent Thursday and Friday playing simulated games at the team's spring training facility in Arizona with no setbacks.

Puig is hitting .256 in 77 games this season, a big drop from his .296 average in 148 regular-season games in 2014, when he earned a spot on the National League All-Star team. Puig hit .319 as a rookie two years ago while appearing in 104 contests.

Puig, 24, is likely in the running for one of the 25 roster spots for the upcoming playoffs, and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Friday he wanted to use the final two games of the regular season to look at players "on the bubble."

Mattingly said he doesn't plan to start Puig in Sunday's regular-season finale, but expects he'll come off the bench at some point.

Puig's chances of making the postseason roster may have improved with the revelation that fellow outfielder Scott Van Slyke has been dealing with inflammation in his right wrist, an ailment that caused him to miss three games last month. Van Slyke, who's hitting .239 with six home runs in 96 games, re-injured the wrist Monday inSan Franciscoand received a cortisone injection Friday, but is still unable to take batting practice.

The Dodgers still have plenty to play for. They enter Saturday night's game with a chance to clinch home-field advantage against theNew York Metsin their NL Division Series matchup, set to begin next week.


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