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Puig homers in first rehab start for Quakes

Dodgers outfielder goes 1-for-2 with a walk in five-inning appearance
June 14, 2016

Yasiel Puig wasn't hamstrung at the plate in his first rehab appearance with Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga.

The 2014 All-Star, making his first rehab start since going on the disabled list with a hamstring injury on June 3, homered in the Quakes' 8-1 win over the Lancaster JetHawks at LoanMart Field. Puig also drew a walk in three total plate appearances before exiting after five innings.

"I feel better right now," he said. "I need to run more on the bases and in the outfield, but I feel fine right now."

Facing JetHawks starter Dean Deetz in the first inning, Puig grounded out to short on the sixth pitch. The second time around, the 25-year-old outfielder made much better contact.

"Fastball," he said of Deetz's fateful pitch. "I tried to hit to right field and get my timing back for when I go back to the [Dodgers] and help my team, my teammates and myself."

The solo homer in the third gave the Quakes a 3-1 lead. The native of Cuba drew a four-pitch walk in the next frame before being replaced by Devan Ahart in right field to start the sixth. Puig didn't record any outs in the outfield, but fielded two singles hit his way.

"I'll play tomorrow again for five innings, then have a day off and play three more days with the team for seven innings [each]," he said. "Then it's a decision by the team."

Puig was slashing .237/.283/.360 with five home runs, two triples, four doubles and 20 RBIs over 53 games for the Dodgers before he got hurt in late May. Hamstring injuries also nagged Puig in 2015, limiting him to 79 games that season.

He is expected to rejoin the Dodgers when the team opens a three-game series against the Nationals at home on June 20, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Michael Peng is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @MichaelXPeng.