Hanley Ramirez returns, Dodgers option Erisbel Arruebarrena to Rancho Cucamonga.

Hanley Ramirez

Hanley Ramirez spent the minimum time on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique muscle. (Getty Images)

Hanley Ramirez was in the Dodgers’ starting lineup Sunday for the first time since he strained a right oblique muscle August 8 in Milwaukee. Ramirez was batting fourth then, and has batted either second, third or fourth every time he’s been in the lineup this year.

Why is he batting fifth today?

“I wanted to let Hanley get back into the flow,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “It’s been a little bit of time. He doesn’t really have a history with (New York Mets starter Bartolo) Colon. Matt’s got a little history.”

Dee Gordon is leading off, Yasiel Puig is batting second, Adrian Gonzalez is third and Matt Kemp fourth — the same order Mattingly has used in 10 of the 13 games since Ramirez was placed on the disabled list.

“We’re not really going to try to be that cautious,” Mattingly said. “We’re going to play him. We’re not going to run him into the ground. If he’s not feeling good we’re going to give him a break. With the days off coming, just kind of play it by ear. Play one, got one off. Play two, got another one off. Then we’ve got six in a row. Unless we’ve got something going on, he should be fairly rested.”

The Dodgers went 7-6 in the 13 games Ramirez missed. The 30-year-old shortstop is batting .277/.367/.455 this season with 12 home runs and 12 stolen bases.

To make room for Ramirez on the active roster, Erisbel Arruebarrena was optioned to Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. He won’t be there more than a week, since rosters expand a week from Monday. Rancho Cucamonga plays seven games over the next eight days (including today), all in Southern California. Albuquerque has games in Oklahoma City today through Wednesday, so Arruebarrena’s demotion could be a simple matter of geography. He previously served a five-game Pacific Coast League suspension for his part in a July brawl.

Mattingly said the decision of who to demote “is really close between those two guys (Arruebarrena and Miguel Rojas). The determining factor with today’s move is Juan Uribe, because I think at this point Erisbel’s played a little bit of third base. He hasn’t played a lot. We’re probably more comfortable with Rojas at third, if he has to play there. We don’t want to kill Justin (Turner). It’s a few-day move. We’re going to have September coming. If Juan Uribe was healthy it could have been a different decision, but right now Papi’s on the DL so third base was a factor.”

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.