The Dodgers lost a game they could have won for the second time in three games against the Arizona Diamondbacks, 8-6 in 12 innings on Wednesday night.
They entered the series 7 ½ games behind the first-place Diamondbacks and finished 8 ½ back. They might have lost their manager, a coach, and some players to MLB-issued suspensions, depending on how the league metes out discipline Thursday for the massive brawl on Tuesday night.
If the Dodgers want to reach .500 by the All-Star break, they will need to win at least 19 of their next 29 games.
But hey, at least they’re getting healthier.
Don Mattingly said Tuesday that he would try to avoid using Hanley Ramirez against the Arizona Diamondbacks, even as a pinch-hitter or a late-game replacement.
That wasn’t the case Wednesday, when Ramirez hit and ran and impressed the Dodgers’ medical staff in the hours before the game.
“He went to the Puig School of Medicine,” Mattingly quipped. “He was close to being in the starting lineup. We tried to err on the side of caution. I plan on starting him Friday unless something happens between now and then.”
The Dodgers visit the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday after a day off Thursday.
Ramirez hasn’t started since June 5, his second game back after spending a month on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring.
The news was also encouraging on Puig, who was scratched from the starting lineup with a strained right shoulder, but returned to the game as a defensive replacement in right field in the 12th inning.
“I listened to medical. They worked on him the whole game — and you saw that throw,” Mattingly said, referring to a heater from right field that hit catcher Ramon Hernandez on the fly to hold Martin Prado at third base.
“I guess they figured there was nothing wrong” with Puig’s right shoulder, Mattingly added — “just sore.”
Matt Kemp will accompany the Dodgers on the nine-game road trip to Pittsburgh and New York and San Diego, though there’s still no target date for his return. If Kemp was headed to Camelback Ranch for additional rehab, his timeframe for recovery might have been less optimistic.
Kemp has been on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring since May 30. He’s expected to need a rehabilitation game before he plays his next game with the Dodgers.