Jeff Kent and Russell Martin had to rest Thursday, so Manager Joe Torre reconfigured his infield in an attempt to make that happen without compromising offensive output. Martin played third base, freeing him from the burden of catching, and third baseman Andy LaRoche started at second in place of Kent over the better-fielding but weaker-hitting Luis Maza.
It didn't matter.
The Dodgers were shut out again, this time in a 2-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox. They were held to five hits in the game and 17 over the three-game series, in which they lost two games.
The Dodgers had their chances, as five of their leadoff hitters reached base. They stranded runners in scoring position in the first, third, fourth and sixth innings.
The start at second was the first of the season for LaRoche, who was one for four with a double. He started a double play in the first but failed to hold onto a throw from Martin in the third on a play that was scored an infield single for Jermaine Dye.
Stults earns his stay
In response to seeing Eric Stults pitch a complete-game shutout Wednesday night, Torre said that he would use a six-man rotation up to the All-Star break so that the left-hander could continue to start. Stults, who was called up from triple-A Las Vegas to replace injured Brad Penny, is 2-0 with an 0.60 ERA in two starts.
"It's pretty tough not to follow up on what we saw," Torre said.
The extra man in the rotation is expected to be Hiroki Kuroda, who will be activated from the disabled list to make a start Tuesday or Wednesday if he emerges from a short simulated game Saturday without any problems. Kuroda was supposed to pitch the simulated game today, but a stiff neck altered his schedule.
Furcal getting closer?
Completing a rigorous workout that included running zigzags and taking ground balls from third base coach Larry Bowa, Rafael Furcal was hopeful that he could start a minor league rehab assignment in Las Vegas next week.
"I felt much better than before," said Furcal, who last played May 5. "I can't wait to be on the field. I'll look like a little kid out there."
Good not to see you
With left-hander John Danks starting for the White Sox and Andre Ethier hitting .164 against left-handers, Torre elected to sit Ethier on Thursday -- much to Danks' delight.
"Fortunately, Andre Ethier wasn't in there," said Danks, who pitched six scoreless innings. "He owned me all the way down to the minor leagues. I was definitely excited to see that."
Penny won't pitch in a simulated game Saturday as originally planned because of discomfort he felt after throwing a side session Wednesday, according to pitching coach Rick Honeycutt. Penny will throw Saturday but not to live hitters. . . . Scott Proctor underwent an MRI exam on his sore right elbow. . . . Brian Falkenborg prevented either of the two runners he inherited with no outs in the fifth inning from scoring in his first appearance for the Dodgers since May 28, 2004. . . . Double-A shortstop Ivan DeJesus Jr., son of the onetime Dodger, was the only player in the Dodgers' system to be selected for the Futures Game, which will be played on July 13 at Yankee Stadium. . . . Former San Francisco Giants pitcher Jerome Williams was signed to a minor league contract and assigned to Class-A Inland Empire.
Times staff writer Bill Shaikin contributed to this report.