PHOENIX -- Adrian Gonzalez is out of the starting lineup for Thursday's series finale against the Diamondbacks with discomfort in his quad, the same malady that caused him to leave Tuesday's game.
"Adrian's got a little bit of what he called a cramp the other day. He played half a game, then came out of the game last night and was feeling something. So it's probably more than a cramp," Mattingly said. "We don't think it's major. He's available to pinch hit, and he says he can play defense."
Gonzalez left Tuesday's game in the sixth inning, though a larger factor in that decision was the 8-1 lead the Dodgers had at the time. He was also ejected in the sixth inning of Wednesday's game. Gonzalez said Tuesday it was normally not even an injury he would tell Mattingly about.
Mattingly stopped short of even calling it an injury.
"For me it's more than a cramp, but it's less than a full blown injury. But it is enough to sit him," Mattingly said. "Obviously he knows his body."
One day after Mattingly said Hanley Ramirez would "probably not" play, Ramirez is back in the lineup, still managing the irritated nerve in his back. At this point, his playing time will basically depend on how his back feels each day.
"Hanley wanted to play yesterday, but we held him out. Today, doc said he was good to go, so that's where we're at. We have to be careful with him," Mattingly said. "It's out of my hands at this point. With Hanley it's got to go through medical. If the docs say he can play, he'll play."
The Dodgers are 48-24 when Ramirez starts.
Hairston not forgotten
Jerry Hairston Jr., 4-for-10 against Wade Miley in his career gets the start at first base in place of Gonzalez on Thursday.
"His numbers with this cat, number one, and just a fresh body," Mattingly explained why Hairston got the start. "Coming into a day game we wanted as many fresh bodies as possible."
It is just the third start for Hairston since Michael Young joined the team. Hairston, hitting just .225/.281/.293 this season, has 15 plate appearances in the Dodgers' last 16 games. But Mattingly said Hairston still has a role on the team.
"We looked at him all year long as someone to play one or two days per week. If you have to go more than that you end up getting in trouble," Mattingly said. "He's a lot like Hanley in that his timing is always good. He came in the other night, hasn't had an at-bat in a while and hits a bullet off somebody in right field.
"Even in spring training, his timing is always right on. He's a guy who has a lot of experience against a lot of different style of pitchers. He's not going to walk up there and not know about the situation. As far as a pinch hitter, he's pretty high on our radar for big at-bats late in the game."