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Injuries force Dodgers to pull Manny, Martin

Injuries force Dodgers to pull Manny, Martin

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ST. LOUIS -- The Dodgers lost their first game after the All-Star break Thursday night, but all they lost was a game.

It got worse Friday night, when in addition to losing to the Cardinals, 8-4, they also lost outfielder Manny Ramirez and catcher Russell Martin with injuries.

Ramirez, one day after returning from the disabled list with a right hamstring injury, came out of the game after one-half inning with a tight right calf muscle, the same injury that put him on the disabled list in April.

Martin was removed after wincing in an eighth-inning at-bat from a swollen thumb he originally injured two weeks ago catching a pitch in Arizona that he recalled gave him a "stinging sensation" and had not bothered him swinging the bat until Friday night.

Ramirez will be re-evaluated Saturday, but at 38, he's already been on the DL twice this year after being on the DL only twice his entire career. He's still not speaking to reporters and left the clubhouse before the media arrived.

"We'll find out tomorrow," said Joe Torre, Dodgers manager and Ramirez's spokesman. "He felt it loosening up before the game and put a [therapeutic] sock on it to hold it and didn't think much of it. When he went back out to the outfield, it got tight and he came out."

Ramirez walked with two outs in the top of the first inning and ran the bases full speed when Casey Blake popped out to end the inning.

Torre said he noticed Martin wince on a swing and took him out after taking a called third strike in the eighth inning for his second strikeout. He said Martin never had taken treatment on the thumb. As a former catcher, Torre said it's "not unusual" for catchers to have left thumb injuries, especially with sinkerball pitchers.

Martin, as usual, downplayed the severity of the injury.

"I don't think it's necessary," he said of a possible Saturday X-ray of the thumb, which he was icing. "If they do, we'll get it done. It's definitely not broken. If anything, a ligament flared up or something like that. They have to knock me out before they put me on the disabled list."

Martin said he's felt occasional discomfort catching pitches, but this was the first time he felt it hitting.

"It's frustrating," he said. "You see pitches you want to drive and you miss it and wonder why you miss a pitch you ought to hit. It builds character. Maybe I'll hold the bat looser and it'll make me better. I'm not a wimp. I'm not too worried about it. I've had this before. I guess every time is different. [Resting] during the All-Star break didn't seem to do anything. I don't mind playing banged up. It's part of the job. I'm sure Joe had his share. Being a catcher, it happens."

Xavier Paul took over for Ramirez and went 1-for-4 with a double. A.J. Ellis caught the bottom of the eighth.

Torre said disabled backup catcher Brad Ausmus caught one inning Friday night in a rehab assignment for Triple-A Albuquerque, will do that again Saturday and is scheduled to catch all nine innings for Albuquerque on Sunday. He will return to Los Angeles and a decision will be made on when he'll be activated. He is recovering from April back surgery.

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