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Adrian Gonzalez hit on elbow, leaves game as precaution

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez left Thursday night's game as a precaution against the Angels after three innings, hit by a pitch in the right elbow by Hector Santiago.

Sporting a noticeable bruise on his wrapped right elbow in the clubhouse while watching San Diego State battle in the NCAA Tournament, Gonzalez said he would have remained in the game if it were a regular season game.

"If I leave that out and play with it, it would swell up," Gonzalez said of his bruised elbow. "In a game that doesn't matter there's no point."

Gonzalez was hit by the third pitch thrown by Santiago after Hanley Ramirez homered to right field one batter earlier, giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. After walking slowly to first base Gonzalez remained in the game for the rest of the inning, but was replaced at first base by Scott Van Slyke in the top of the fourth inning.

In his only other plate appearance in the game, Gonzalez - who leads the major leagues in stolen bases this season - hit an infield single to third base with two outs to drive in Yasiel Puig for the game's first run.

Gonzalez led the Dodgers with 157 games played and 149 starts in 2013, and has averaged 159 games per year since 2006. He left the exhibition game against Team Australia on March 20 in the fourth inning with lower back tightness, but played every inning of both regular season games against the Diamondbacks.