Dodgers activate Mookie Betts off injured list

Los Angeles Dodgers' Mookie Betts reacts toward first base coach Clayton McCullough after flying out during the eighth inning of the team's baseball game against the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in Chicago. (Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)

LOS ANGELES — Mookie Betts is back in his familiar leadoff and right field spot for the Los Angeles Dodgers, activated off the injured list before Sunday's game against the San Diego Padres.

Betts was injured during the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels on June 15 when he collided with Cody Bellinger in the outfield on a fly ball. Betts played the rest of that game but was scratched from the lineup the next two games. An MRI revealed the cracked rib.

It was his third stint on the IL the past two seasons.

Betts said on Saturday that he feels much better compared to two weeks ago.

“At that point, I couldn’t swing. It was hurting to breathe. It was hurting to do everyday activity," Betts said. "Now, I’m moving around, it’s pretty normal.”

The original plan was for Betts to play second base for a couple games, but that changed after Chris Taylor bruised his left foot during Saturday's game.

The 2018 AL MVP is fourth in the NL with 53 runs and tied for sixth with 17 homers. Los Angeles is 29-7 when he scores a run.

The Dodgers also reinstated left-handed pitcher David Price, who had missed three games due to a medical emergency. To make room for Betts and Price, Los Angeles designated right-handed pitcher Ian Gibaut for assignment and optioned infielder Eddy Alvarez to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

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