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Andre Ethier returns to Dodgers starting lineup for NLCS opener

Andre Ethier is back in the Dodgers lineup for the first time a month. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Andre Ethier is back in the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup for the first time a month. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Andre Ethier is in the lineup for Friday night's Game 1 of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Ethier will bat seventh. The team needs Ethier's left-handed bat because the entire Cardinals starting rotation is right-handed.

CORCORAN: NLCS Game 1 preview: Dodgers at Cardinals

He has been in a limited role for the past month as he is dealing with a left ankle injury and has not started since Sept. 13. The only activity he has seen has been in the role of pinch-hitter.

"What we saw yesterday, we really liked," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "It wasn't great at first, but as the day went on, it got better and better. I don't know how he'll respond after the game. The worst case scenario, he can take another day off.

"We're getting back to the lineup that played most of the middle of the year. It feels good to get him back in there. He really had to be able to tell us he's able to make all the plays. We're comfortable he can play center field the way he's capable of."

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