In midst of surge at plate, Seager gets breather

In midst of surge at plate, Seager gets breather

PITTSBURGH -- He's 22, a leading candidate for National League Rookie of the Year with a 10-game hitting streak. But on Monday, Corey Seager was out of the starting lineup in the Dodgers' eventual 5-4 win over the Pirates at PNC Park.

Seager said he fought manager Dave Roberts' decision, but got nowhere.

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"I tried, didn't work," said Seager, whose streak has him flirting with a .300 average. "You say you don't want it, you feel good, stuff like that. He's the boss at the end of the day, and you listen to what he says."

Roberts had no left-handed hitters in the lineup against Pirates lefty Francisco Liriano. Joining Seager on the bench were second baseman Chase Utley, center fielder Joc Pederson, switch-hitter Yasmani Grandal and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who was taking a second day off that he told reporters he asked for to clear his head after a month-long slump. All but Grandal nonetheless found their way into the Dodgers' comeback win, with Seager entering as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning.

Seager's OPS is 145 points lower against lefties than righties, but Roberts said the decision was made in part to see what newly-acquired shortstop Chris Taylor can do.

"I just think with this stretch, yeah it's hard to give Corey a day, but I'm still trying to be mindful of using a whole roster," he said. "Of all days to give him, this is one day that makes some sort of sense. And I want to see Chris Taylor play and get him involved."

Seager said he was "a little worried" that a day off from the starting lineup could disrupt his momentum, but is trying to accept Roberts' explanation that rest spaced earlier in the season pays off later.

"You don't want it, you're feeling good and you want to play," Seager said. "But it's better in the long run to take them now and space them out, and it will help in the end. That's what they've told me. You don't really know, but they say it's shown it really helps. You've got to trust it and go with it."

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.