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Adrian Gonzalez is latest Dodger felled by injury

First baseman Adrian Gonzalez, the Dodgers' RBI leader, sits out against Giants because of neck stiffness, an injury sustained in a collision with an umpire.

May 03, 2013|By Bill Shaikin
  • Adrian Gonzalez was scratched from the Dodgers' lineup Friday because of neck soreness Manager Don Mattingly traced back to Wednesday when the first baseman collided with an umpire while chasing a foul boul.
Adrian Gonzalez was scratched from the Dodgers' lineup Friday because… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)

SAN FRANCISCO — When Don Mattingly asked Adrian Gonzalez how he was doing, the Dodgers' manager just meant the question as a pleasantry.

But, for a team that has used the disabled list 10 times in the first five weeks of the season, Mattingly should not have been surprised when the answer was "sore" rather than "fine."

The Dodgers scratched Gonzalez from their lineup Friday because of neck stiffness. Mattingly traced the injury to an incident in Wednesday's game, when Gonzalez collided with an umpire while chasing a foul ball.

Gonzalez and center fielder Matt Kemp were the only Dodgers to appear in each of the first 27 games this season, with Gonzalez hitting .330 and leading the team in on-base percentage (.393) and runs batted in (20). The Dodgers have scored fewer runs than any team in the major leagues except the Miami Marlins.

The Dodgers do not have a true backup first baseman on the roster. Scott Van Slyke, batting .404 as the first baseman at triple-A Albuquerque, did not start for the Isotopes on Friday.

Mattingly said he expected Gonzalez could pinch-hit on Friday, if needed, and said he did not anticipate a lengthy absence. Mattingly also said he anticipated that outfielder Carl Crawford (hamstring), who missed his third consecutive start, could pinch-hit as well.

However, with Gonzalez, Crawford and second baseman Mark Ellis (quad) nursing injuries, the Dodgers' only healthy bench players Friday were catcher Ramon Hernandez and infielders Justin Sellers and Juan Uribe.

The Dodgers also returned Ted Lilly to the disabled list because of a strained right rib cage. Rookie Matt Magill will make his second major league start Saturday, in place of Lilly.

The Dodgers activated pitcher Clayton Kershaw from the bereavement list to start Friday and plan to activate pitcher Chris Capuano to start Monday against Arizona. Mattingly said Ellis probably would be put on the disabled list Monday if he is not ready to play then, since the Dodgers would need a roster spot for Capuano.

Lilly bummed

Lilly, 37, has five victories and four trips to the disabled list since the start of the 2012 season. His contract expires at the end of this season.

In addition to a shoulder injury — and subsequent surgery — last year, Lilly has suffered injuries to his back, neck, rib cage and a finger. He said he is frustrated in part because he has tried to take better care of himself as he grows older.

"I feel like I'm being more proactive than I ever have been in my career," he said. "I try to leave no stone unturned. . . . Now I'm doing everything I can, and I still get hurt."

Twitter: @BillShaikin

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