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MESA , Ariz. (AP) — Corey Seager returned with a bang to the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup Wednesday night.The star shortstop, playing against major league competition for the first time in nearly a year, homered to center field in his second at-bat against Chicago Cubs left-hander Cole Hamels at Sloan Park.“It was just fun. The adrenaline, the excitement, it was really good,” Seager said after playing six innings in his Cactus League debut. “It’s been a really long time since I’ve been out there. That was the excitement part of it.”Seager added a sacrifice fly in the fifth.“I was happy for him. He looked really good in the batter’s box,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “A positive night.”A two-time All-Star and the 2016 NL Rookie of the Year, Seager played just 26 games a year ago before an elbow injury ended his season on April 29.He had Tommy John surgery in early May and arthroscopic surgery on his left hip in August. The Dodgers made their second straight trip to the World Series despite Seager’s absence after acquiring Manny Machado from Baltimore to fill in at shortstop.Machado is now gone after signing a $300 million contract as a free agent with San Diego.Seager was brought along slowly this spring, initially eased into game action against minor leaguers Garrett Richards Jersey , but certainly looked ready Wednesday night.Batting third, he flied out to the warning track in left-center his first time up. He was the middle man on a double play in the bottom of the first.“That was one of those throws that would have really bothered me,” Seager said. “It was really nice to be able to make that play and not really worry about it.”He committed an error on Javier Baez’s grounder in the fourth.Roberts said Seager will play in a minor league game Thursday and return to Cactus League action Friday against Arizona at Camelback Ranch.In his rookie season, Seager hit .306 with 26 homers and finished third in NL MVP voting. In 2017, he hit 22 homers but began to experience a sore arm, causing him to miss the NL Championship Series against the Cubs. He returned for the World Series against Houston, playing in all seven games.However, he felt soreness in his elbow last spring and tried to play through it before having the operation.Seager, a first-round draft pick in 2012 , came up to the majors late in 2015 and has a .302 career batting average with an .866 OPS in 355 games.NOTES: LHP Julio Urias pitched 2 2/3 innings out of the bullpen, allowing two earned runs — including Anthony Rizzo’s homer. Coming into the outing, Urias had given up only two hits and one run in nine innings this spring. Roberts said Urias, who started in his previous Cactus League appearances, will begin the season as a long reliever. “We wanted to make sure Walker (Buehler) got through his start, which he did yesterday,” Roberts said. “And it makes the most sense for us to have Julio come out of the ‘pen in long relief. He’s going to be just fine.” Roberts said he didn’t think he would use Urias as a lefty specialist or one-inning guy. “As a reliever you’ve got to be ready every day. Right now I feel good and I’ll continue working,” Urias said through a translator. The 22-year-old missed most of last season after shoulder surgery in June 2017, but returned in time to pitch 6 1/3 innings of relief in the NLCS and World Series. Urias was 5-2 with a 3.35 ERA in 15 starts as a 19-year-old in 2016. LOS ANGELES – The marquee matchup of a weekend duel for first place was supposed to take place Friday before the Los Angeles Dodgers pulled a late switch and nixed a battle of aces.The Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw no longer will match up with the Arizona Diamondbacks‘ Zack Greinke in the second game of the four-game series at Dodger Stadium as fellow left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu will take his place for the Dodgers Friday night.It wasn’t that the Dodgers wanted to spread the pitching wealth around the series. In moving Kershaw to Saturday’s game against Arizona Huston Street Jersey , it will give him an extra day of rest with a month left in the season, but primarily it lines up his next outing against another National League West title contender in the Colorado Rockies.Article continues below ...“Every game is very difficult, but when you’re playing a division rival, that essentially counts as two games,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “To have the guys that you want in a particular matchup, that’s what we feel comfortable with.”The Dodgers lost to the Diamondbacks 3-1 on Thursday night to fall two games behind first-place Arizona in the division, while essentially putting more emphasis on Ryu’s start Friday.Greinke is still the Friday starter for Arizona. His August was not as good as his brilliant July, but he still arrives at his former home park with a 2.19 ERA over his last 10 starts going back to the beginning of July. His worst outing in that bunch came Aug. 13 when he gave up four runs over 6 1/3 innings in a loss to the Texas Rangers.But in his last outing Sunday against the contending Seattle Mariners , Greinke (13-8, 2.93 ERA) went 6 2/3 innings without giving up an earned run and picked up his first victory since July 27. He is 6-4 lifetime against the Dodgers with a 3.84 ERA over 13 starts. This season Greinke is 2-0 with a 4.38 ERA in two starts against Los Angeles.Greinke is well aware that Arizona still has two series remaining against the Dodgers, counting this one, as well as two series against the Rockies. The D-backs also have games remaining with the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs.“I don’t know about the strength of schedule, but it looks like we’ve got a lot of tough teams coming this month,” Greinke said, according to the Arizona Republic, “and play the people we’re competing against a lot, so it is going to be an intense last month Nolan Ryan Jersey , I’d expect.”In three starts since coming off the disabled list because of a strained left groin, Ryu (4-1, 2.18) has been impressive. In recent starts against the Giants, Cardinals and Padres he has a combined 2.30 ERA over 15 2/3 innings.Ryu is 3-3 with a 3.90 ERA in 12 career starts against the Diamondbacks, and he is 0-0 with a 5.40 ERA in two starts against them this season.Ryu has yet to throw more than 89 pitches in a start during his comeback, though, and the Dodgers could be forced to make an early call to a bullpen that has been a wild ride of late.Dodgers relievers struggled when closer Kenley Jansen was on the disabled list for 10 days in August with an irregular heartbeat. Jansen has struggled in four outings since he has returned, but the rest of the relievers have been better and the Dodgers just got right-hander Josh Fields back from a DL stint of his own because of right shoulder inflammation.

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