Hanley Ramirez injury: Dodgers SS has MRI on hamstring

Lisa Blumenfeld

Less than week after returning from the disabled list, hamstring tightness has kept Hanley Ramirez out of the lineup for four straight days.

The Dodgers are without Hanley Ramirez for their series finale against the Braves on Sunday, with the shortstop still sidelined with tightness in his left hamstring. Ramirez had an MRI exam on his hamstring on Sunday.

"He's having continued problems enough that they want to get another look at this thing," said manager Don Mattingly. "We'll find out if it's going to be more serious than we've been talking about."

Ramirez was just activated from the disabled list on Tuesday after missing 28 games with a strained left hamstring. After getting a scheduled day off on Thursday, Ramirez has been held out of the lineup for four consecutive days, though he has pinch hit in each of the last three contests.

His current status, well before the MRI results are known, is that he hit but can't run. Mattingly used pitcher Clayton Kershaw to pinch run for Ramirez after he singled in the eighth inning Saturday.

"Guys want to play, but when they can't run it's hard to play," Mattingly said. "Especially with playing short."

Nick Punto gets the call at shortstop and Sunday, and Mattingly said should Ramirez need another stint on the disabled list he would likely stick with a combination of Punto and Luis Cruz at shortstop.

"You do what you have to do. I know about Nick that I have to be careful. They have both been solid at shortstop," Mattingly said. "The problem is just missing a middle of the order guy."

Ramirez, who missed the first 24 games of the season after dislocating his thumb, has had all of 23 plate appearances this season. He is hitting .350/.391/.650 with three doubles and a home run in his nine games.

Mark Ellis, battling a groin injury and in an 0-for-17 slump, is back in the lineup on Sunday, batting eighth.

Dee Gordon played his first game at second base on Saturday for Triple-A Albuquerque, though it's unlikely the Dodgers would recall him so soon after he hit just .175/.278/.254 in 19 games.

"I didn't know anything about it until talking about it wtih Lorenzo Bundy the other night. I'm not sure the reasons why. They haven't let us know yet," Mattingly said. "I haven't seen him over there and hadn't heard anything about it."

Andre Ethier fouled a ball off his foot on Saturday, but Mattingly said Ethier was sore but just getting a regular day off against the left-handed Mike Minor. Ethier is 0-for-6 against Minor and hitting .235/.274/.353 against southpaws this season.

Game info

Time: 1:10 p.m.

TV: Prime Ticket

MLB Gameday

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