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Puig says baseball is a lift

SAN FRANCISCO — Yasiel Puig believes he has the support from his Dodgers teammates and the club to help him keep his focus on baseball despite challenges off the field.

Puig returned to the starting lineup in rightfield for Thursday's victory over the Giants amid reports that smugglers who helped him defect from Cuba had threatened his life.

"I'm only concentrating on the season and being the best teammate and helping my teammates," Puig said.

Puig won't address the details specifically because of a pending legal case. He said he will focus on baseball.

"I have great teammates who are helping support me so much this season and to focus on the season when I get to the stadium so I am comfortable," said Puig, 23, who was scratched from the starting lineup after arriving late April 4. "That way I don't start thinking about anything negative in the stadium. I'm only thinking about working on the things that are going to make me a better ballplayer."

He is committed to baseball "so those things that are happening don't torment me."

In other Dodgers news, LHP Clayton Kershaw, on the DL with a strained back muscle, threw breaking balls off the mound and had added velocity.

blue jays: The rehabilitation for RH closer Casey Janssen was halted because of lingering tightness in his lower back. He pitched for Class A Dunedin on Tuesday but didn't feel better afterward and was told to take a few days off from throwing.

mariner suspended: Mariners 1B Ji-Man Choi was suspended for 50 games after a positive test for a performance-enhancing substance. MLB said Choi, 22, tested positive for methandienone, a controlled substance popular with bodybuilders. Choi is at Triple-A Tacoma.

fan charged: Police say several people suffered minor injuries when a fan in a Giants hat threw a large firework onto a walkway at Wednesday's Dodgers-Giants game in San Francisco. Paolo Pavone, 21, was booked on suspicion of willfully discharging and possessing an explosive, and discharging a firework in a public place.

brewers: 1B Lyle Overbay went on paternity leave.

Cardinals: RHP Joe Kelly went on the 15-day DL with a strained left hamstring, sustained on a bunt attempt Wednesday.

Puig says baseball is a lift 04/17/14 [Last modified: Thursday, April 17, 2014 11:18pm]
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