Dodgers getting plenty out of Belliard

Belliard seeing lots of action

LOS ANGELES -- When the Dodgers acquired Ronnie Belliard from the Washington Nationals, Joe Torre knew he'd find ways to get his new infielder into the lineup.

But he didn't think he'd be writing Belliard's name down as often as he has.

"No, I certainly didn't," Torre said before Sunday's game against the Padres. "We wanted to get a look at him and get a feel for him at a couple of different positions."

Torre said that he knew he wanted to give Orlando Hudson a coupe of days off -- Belliard started at second on Thursday and Friday. Then Casey Blake went down with a hamstring injury on Friday night, and Belliard has started at third the past two games.

Belliard has managed to make the most of his first five starts with the Dodgers, going 6-for-19 with a home run and four RBIs.

"He's very aggressive with the bat," Torre said, also adding that Blake's status is "about the same" as it was on Saturday. Torre said that Blake could take batting practice, but he struggles to field and run.

In other news, Juan Pierre got his second consecutive start on Sunday. Pierre took Manny Ramirez's place at left field on Saturday and started at center field for Matt Kemp in the finale.

The Dodgers entered Sunday 41-26 in the games started by Pierre, and his speed gives them another dangerous weapon at the top of the lineup.

"He does bring a little different dimension to the lineup," Torre said.

Pierre currently is hitting .319 with 28 RBIs this season.

Torre said that his plan is to continue using Pierre the way he has since Ramirez returned from suspension, giving the speedster a couple of starts per week.

David Ely is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.