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Blake, Martin Back For Dodgers Just In Time For Carpenter

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Casey Blake and Russell Martin are both happy to be back in the lineup tonight
Casey Blake and Russell Martin are both happy to be back in the lineup tonight

As the Dodgers face Chris Carpenter for the first time since last year's NLDS, their lineup is back at full strength.  Casey Blake is back in the lineup after missing five straight games with back spasms.  Russell Martin is back after two days of not starting, albeit with a heavy heart.

A three-year old girl was hit in the head and knocked unconscious yesterday by a ball off the bat of Martin during batting practice.  From Tony Barboza and Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:

A 3-year-old girl was to undergo surgery Tuesday for a fractured skull after being struck with a baseball that was hit into the stands during batting practice at Dodger Stadium.

Russell Martin was at the plate about 5:30 p.m. Monday when he hit a line drive into the stands near third base, hitting the girl in the head and knocking her unconscious, said Dodgers spokesman Joe Jareck.

A teary-eyed and visibly shaken Martin shook his head in disbelief and looked up into the stands as the girl's father carried her unresponsive body up the stairs to a first aid station.

That is just about the worst thing that can happen at a baseball game, and the fact that it is a little child makes it all the more heartbreaking.  Martin has offered to pay all the girl's medical expenses.

Lineups

Cardinals      Dodgers
3B Lopez SS Furcal
CF Winn CF Kemp
1B Pujols RF Ethier
LF Holliday LF Manny
RF Ludwick 1B Loney
2B Schumaker 
3B Blake
C Molina
2B DeWitt
SS Ryan C Martin
P Carpenter 
P Kuroda       

Notes

  • George Sherrill has been activated from the disabled list as expected, per Dylan Hernandez of the LA TimesJon Link was optioned to Albuquerque for the third time this season after pitching two innings in his one day with the big club.
  • Andre Ethier is in third place among National League outfielders in the latest release of All-Star votes.  Ethier has nearly a million votes, and is closer to first place (Ryan Braun) than fourth place (Shane Victorino).  Matt Kemp is seventh among NL outfielders, while Manny Ramirez is ninth.
  • Hiroki Kuroda has struggled in the last month or so.  He has given up at least three runs in each of his last six starts, and is 2-3 with a 5.19 ERA during that time.  In Kuroda's last start, he had four unintentional walks for just the second time in his career.
  • Now that Casey Blake is back, he can resume his hitting streak, which currently stands at nine game and counting.
  • Tonight is Jonathan Broxton Bobblehead Night at Dodger Stadium.

Get your guess in for Xeifrank's simulation game here.

Game Time: 7:10 p.m

TV: KCAL

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