Barnes (ankle) will start at catcher and bat eighth Thursday against the Pirates, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports.

Barnes hadn't started since picking up a mild ankle sprain Saturday against Atlanta, but he was still available if needed the past few days while No. 1 backstop Will Smith caught the past three games for Los Angeles. Smith will get a breather for the day game after a night game, paving the way for Barnes to return to action. The 31-year-old should regularly serve as Clayton Kershaw's primary battery mate, but Barnes can't be counted on to pick up more than one or two additional starts per week with Smith clearly entrenched as the starter.

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