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DODGERS FYI

Dodgers' Hanley Ramirez undergoes an MRI exam on hamstring

Shortstop is not in the starting lineup again Sunday, and there's growing concern about an injury that doesn't seem to be healing.

June 09, 2013|By Jim Peltz

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Hanley Ramirez was left off the Dodgers' starting lineup again Sunday amid growing concern about the shortstop's sore left hamstring.

Ramirez underwent an MRI exam Sunday and "we'll find out if it's going to be more serious than we've been talking about," Manager Don Mattingly said.

"He's having continued problems enough that they want to get another look at this thing," Mattingly said. "We'll find out if this ends up being more long-term."

Ramirez, who has appeared in only nine games this season because of injuries, hit a pinch-hit single that drove in the Dodgers' run in their 2-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night.

Ramirez, 29, immediately was pulled for a pinch-runner, pitcher Clayton Kershaw. Ramirez "can hit, but he couldn't run," Mattingly said.

The loss of Ramirez is a major void in the middle of the Dodgers' batting order. In his nine appearances, Ramirez was batting .350 with one home run and three runs batted in.

Meanwhile, Andre Ethier, who has been playing center field in place of the injured Matt Kemp, was given a day off by Mattingly after Ethier fouled off a pitch that hit the arch of his right foot Saturday night.

Ethier was "a little sore" and tried to swing before the game "and wasn't able to do it," Mattingly said. "So I don't know where we'll be tomorrow with that."

Ethier is batting .229. He is hitless in six at-bats against Mike Minor, the Braves left-hander who won Sunday's game.

Kemp is not quite ready

Another void in the lineup is the absence of Kemp, who has been on the disabled list since May 30 because of a strained right hamstring.

Kemp, 28, has been undergoing rehabilitation at the Dodgers' spring-training complex in Arizona. But he returned to Dodger Stadium on Sunday to run the bases in front of the club's medical staff.

"At this point we've hit a little bit of a snag because he felt just a little something today still," Mattingly said. "The running today is really to find out where he's at. He's not quite there yet."

Before going on the DL, Kemp was batting .251 with two home runs and 17 RBIs.

Kershaw, the pinch runner

Mattingly said he would rather not use Kershaw, the ace of the Dodgers' staff, as a pinch runner.

But Mattingly does anyway despite the risk that the 2011 Cy Young Award winner could be injured and despite the Dodgers' already having a starting rotation hobbled by injuries.

After using Kershaw to pinch-run for Ramirez on Saturday night, Mattingly said that "I don't like using him" but that the Dodgers would try to be careful.

"We're not going to run him into a collision at home plate," Mattingly said. "If it's going to be a banger, we're not going to take chances with him.

"If the ball's hit in the gap and [Kershaw is] at second base and it's a fairly easy score, then we can use him."

james.peltz@latimes.com

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