Mientkiewicz returns to Dodgers from DL


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LOS ANGELES -- Doug Mientkiewicz began trying to salvage his season on Wednesday, when the Los Angeles Dodgers' first baseman was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list.

He had been sidelined since April 17 because of a dislocated right shoulder.

The former Pirates first baseman entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning and looped a single over the head of Arizona second baseman Augie Ojeda.

He wasn't on base for long, getting thrown out at second on the next play.

"I just want to contribute," he said before the game.

Mientkiewicz won't be dislodging James Loney from his starting position at first base, but manager Joe Torre said he could be used in a double-switch role.

"I want to be able to throw bad, but I'm not going to jeopardize what these guys have done for six months," he said. "I'll be honest with Joe. I'm not going to play hero."

Mientkiewicz, who signed with the Dodgers as a free agent in February, said his focus is on improving his right throwing arm over the next month to make the playoff roster. He bats left-handed.

"I'm just trying to learn how to throw the right way and take some of the pain away," he said. "I'd been hitting a brick wall in the last couple of weeks trying to make the game playable. The pain went away and I threw back-to-back days with some authority. They keep telling me this is still way ahead of schedule."



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