LOS ANGELES -- Left fielder Carl Crawford was in the Dodgers' starting lineup on Sunday for the first time since coming off the disabled list.
Crawford, who missed 40 games with a left ankle sprain, was activated on Thursday. He played off the bench Friday and Saturday night, going 0-for-4 in five plate appearances.
"Honestly, I was thinking about it -- I shouldn't really have to explain why Carl's in the lineup because this guy, if you look at his numbers over his time, he probably has better numbers than everybody we got out there," manager Don Mattingly said Sunday. "If you look back last year, this guy hit three or four home runs in the playoffs."
Part of the reasoning behind the start is that Crawford has hit Padres starter Tyson Ross well in the past, going 5-for-8 against him in his career.
"It's one of those things, Carl has good numbers against this guy," Mattingly said. "Carl's a good player. Only issue Carl's had is he hasn't been able to basically stay healthy. Carl's out there because he deserves to be out there."
Mattingly said Saturday that Crawford has been taking fly balls in center field as the Dodgers continue to look for a permanent solution at the position. With five outfielders for three spots, Crawford's playing time going forward is uncertain.
"We'll just see where we're going," Mattingly said. "As we get into this, the second half, you try to get everybody in the mix, but you're going to try to win games, so we're going to play the guys that give us the best chance to win games."
Kershaw 'perfectly set up' for All-Star appearance
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is in line to start the All Star Game -- should he get the call.
Tuesday is Kershaw's regular day to throw, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. Mattingly hasn't heard yet from National League manager Mike Matheny regarding the game's starter.
"I don't know if they will tell me," Mattingly said. "I already let Mike know that Kersh is good for two [innings], so he's set up. That's his regular day, so I expect him -- obviously he's going to pitch. But he's one of the guys that are going in there rested and really perfectly set up for that game."
Kershaw is 11-2 with a 1.78 ERA, has won eight straight starts and is fresh off of a 41-inning scoreless streak. His main competition for the NL start is Matheny's ace with the Cardinals -- Adam Wainwright -- who is 12-4 with a 1.83 ERA on the season.
"That's Mike's decision," Mattingly said. "We're not lobbying one way or another. I let him know how Kersh feels about it and that he's capable of going two innings. I'm sure Mike's got a lot of people calling. … We've kind of set ourselves up for whatever happens there, and I'd love to see him start, but that's not my decision."
• The Dodgers optioned right-handed reliever Pedro Baez to Triple-A Albuquerque after Sunday's 1-0 win against the Padres. Baez has allowed two runs in two Major League innings this season, last pitching July 8 in Detroit.
• Dodgers' top prospect Corey Seager, a shortstop who's playing in Sunday's SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, said he has been called up to Double-A Chattanooga, effective Thursday.
• Infielder Justin Turner, on the disabled list since June 29 with a left hamstring strain, will make his first rehab appearance Sunday as the designated hitter for Class A Rancho Cucamonga.
Michael Lananna is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.