Gordon Shows off Skills -- and Lack of Polish

Dee Gordon's first game at Dodger Stadium was a glimpse into the possibilities, and the problem, with the Dodgers' young shortstop. Gordon tripled home a run, scored on a flyball to medium left field and made three spectacular plays in the field, but his error on a routine grounder in the seventh inning Monday led to four unearned runs for the Reds in their 6-4 win over the Dodgers.

Fair or not, his reputation when he arrived in the majors is somebody who makes the spectacular play and gets careless with the routine play. That was Monday in a nutshell.

In the third inning, he dived head-first to his left, snaring a grounder, then got to his feet and threw out speedy Brandon Phillips. The next batter hit a grounder that went off pitcher Hiroki Kuroda. Gordon was going up the middle, changed his direction, grabbed the ball with his

The Dodgers knew this when promoting Gordon a week ago. They'd have preferred he get a full season at Class AAA Albuquerque before getting called up, but an injury to Rafael Furcal made them decide now was the time.

Gordon, 23, is taking playing time away from Jamey Carroll, who is sixth in the league in hitting at .319, and Miles, who is batting .296 himself.

It has the potential to be awkward. But it's not.

It's evident during games that Carroll and Miles are constantly talking to Gordon -- whether on the field, or in the dugout -- to help him out and make sure he's in the right position.

"Jamey's like a coach out there, him and Aaron both," manager Don Mattingly said. "They'll take care of him. Hopefully, it's a situation where he learns quickly. They don't look at it like he's taking time away from them. These guys are pros. They know what their roles are. They're going to take care of the kid."

Mattingly told Gordon upon his arrival in the majors: pay attention to Carroll and Miles.

"It's going to be good for him," Mattingly said. "He's a great kid. He works hard. He wants to do good. He's a sponge. He listens. He wants to get better. He wants to know everything. He's the kind of guy you want."

NOTES, QUOTES
--RHP Vicente Padilla will undergo surgery on his neck Thursday, as the treatment he's undergone the last 10 days didn't alleviate the problem. It's possible that he's out for the season, but a timetable for his rehab won't be known until after the surgery. Padilla missed a combined 68 games on two different DL stints last year. He's missed 49 of the first 68 games this year.

--RHP Kenley Jansen (right shoulder inflammation) was not activated from the disabled list Monday because the Dodgers want him to get stretched out a little more, work on holding runners on base and entering in the middle of an inning. They felt their bullpen didn't need a fresh arm -- even after a heavy workload over the last four days in Colorado. Pitching for Class AA Chattanooga, Jansen entered Monday's game with a runner at third and nobody out. He struck out the first batter and intentionally walked the next, who then stole second base. The inning ended on a flyball, when the right fielder threw out a runner tagging at home.

--CF Matt Kemp remains fifth in National League All-Star voting for outfielders, even though he leads the league in home runs (20), is second in RBI (56) and third in batting average (.332). He reached 20 home runs on June 12, the fastest date for any Dodger. But for fewest games to reach 20 home runs in Dodger history, Gil Hodges reached 20 homers in 53 games in 1951. (Kemp did it in 67 games).

--LHP Scott Elbert became the seventh different Dodgers pitcher to earn a save this year, getting the final out Sunday. No team has more than five relievers with at least one save.

--3B Casey Blake was out of the starting lineup for a third consecutive day Monday due to a pinched nerve in his neck. Blake has wanted to play each day, but manager Don Mattingly would prefer he sit out until he is 100 percent. In the meantime, Blake has been available to pinch-hit each day.

--OF Trayvon Robinson, one of the Dodgers' top prospects, homered Monday for Class AAA Albuquerque to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. Earlier this year, he had a 16-game hitting streak. Robinson, a Los Angeles native, has raised his average to .304. He has 14 home runs and 42 RBI in 59 games.

QUOTE TO NOTE:
"We're getting more guys involved. Our little mighty mites have been unbelievable. We're becoming a pretty athletic club. We've got speed in the outfield. We're a club that bunts a bit and makes some things happen. We're probably getting to be a club that when we get guys on base, we're a pain to manage against because we do a lot of little stuff. It's been fun to watch." -- Manager Don Mattingly, whose group of "mighty mites" has expanded from Jamey Carroll (5-foot-9) and Aaron Miles (5-8) to Tony Gwynn Jr. (5-11) and Dee Gordon (5-11 and 150 pounds).

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