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Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez scratched because of neck stiffness

May 03, 2013|By Bill Shaikin
  • Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is batting .330 with three home runs and 20 RBI in 27 games this season.
Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is batting .330 with three home runs… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)

San Francisco — The Dodgers scratched first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from their lineup Friday after he complained of neck stiffness.

Gonzalez and center fielder Matt Kemp have been the only players to appear in each of the first 27 games. Gonzalez is batting .330 and leads the team in on-base percentage (.393) and runs batted in (20).

With Carl Crawford (hamstring) and Mark Ellis (quad) also nursing day-to-day 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.

Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said he expected Gonzalez could pinch-hit on Friday, if needed, and said he did not anticipate a lengthy absence. Mattingly traced the injury to an incident in Wednesday's game, when Gonzalez collided with an umpire while chasing a foul ball.

Gonzalez did not report any discomfort after Wednesday's game, Mattingly said. The Dodgers were off Thursday, and Mattingly included Gonzalez in the original starting lineup.

"There wasn't a word about it on any reports or emails," Mattingly said.

However, Gonzalez told Mattingly about a "knot" in the neck on Friday afternoon. When the stiffness was still evident in batting practice, the Dodgers scratched Gonzalez.

Mattingly said he expected Crawford could pinch-hit Friday if necessary. He said Ellis probably would be put on the disabled list Monday if he is not ready to play then, as the Dodgers would need a roster spot for Capuano that day.

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