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Scott Van Slyke shifts rehab to Triple-A

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LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers outfielder and first baseman Scott Van Slyke will shift his minor league rehab assignment to Triple-A Oklahoma City beginning on Tuesday, as he gets one step closer to returning from the disabled list.

Van Slyke will play nine innings at first base for Oklahoma City on Tuesday at Fresno, the second game of his rehab assignment. He played seven innings in right field for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Sunday, going 1-for-2 with a walk in his one game with the Quakes.

The Dodgers have been without Van Slyke since the first week of the season, the result of lower back tightness that has sidelined him for more than six weeks.

Oklahoma City is in Fresno through Thursday, and on Wednesday Van Slyke will be joined by Hyun-Jin Ryu, making his third rehab start. Given that the club is currently carrying 13 pitchers, coupled with Thursday's off day to get the bullpen even more rest, it stands to reason Van Slyke could be activated as early as Friday in place of a reliever, when the club opens a series against the Mets in New York, though nothing has been decided yet on that.

Long and the short

Monday's game was a tight two hours, 11 minutes long, the Dodgers' second-shortest game of the season. The shortest game was 2 hours, 7 minutes, a 1-0 shutout by Clayton Kershaw against the Padres on May 1. In fact, the Dodgers' five shortest games this season are Kershaw's five May starts, none lasting longer than 2:28.

Kershaw this month has five wins in those five starts, with three runs allowed, three shutouts, two walks and 55 strikeouts in 42 innings. The games have averaged 2:14.

On the season the Dodgers average three hours, seven minutes per game.

Those short starts sure beat the five hour, 47-minute marathon from Sunday. Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis was on the field for all of it, catching all 17 innings Sunday, then all nine innings on Monday night, giving Yasmani Grandal another day to rest his right ankle contusion.

"The adrenaline takes over when you get out there," Ellis said. "You know how hard [Kershaw] is working out there, and I'm going to do the same, to get through it."

Up next

The Dodgers turn to Mike Bolsinger on Tuesday night, back from a between-starts tour with stops in Oklahoma City and Fresno before arriving in Los Angeles on Monday. The Reds will call up right-hander Daniel Wright to make his major league debut.