Loney, Martin return to Dodgers' lineup

Loney, Martin return to Dodgers' lineup

LOS ANGELES -- James Loney and Russell Martin both returned to the Dodgers' lineup Monday night for the start of a three-game series against the Giants at Dodger Stadium.

Loney said Monday he felt 100 percent after suffering a left hamstring cramp that interrupted his ninth-inning at-bat Saturday in St. Louis.

"He still feels it," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "It doesn't look like it's a hamstring issue. I think it's still what's left over from that spasm he had, that was caused by the heat [in St. Louis]."

Martin had kept quiet about a bone bruise on his left thumb until it hurt him enough that he had to be removed after an at-bat against the Cardinals on Friday night.

"I didn't even feel it until that point, I was swinging, I couldn't even grip the bat.," Martin said. "I don't remember exactly when it happened. I don't think it was just like one pitch. I think I kind of banged it up on a pitch and, you know, just catching every day, every day, after awhile it just started to worsen. Now it's better."

Martin iced the hand to reduce inflammation and he's also going to be catching with a custom pad that combines hard and soft materials to cushion the blow. There is a possibility that the injury could be aggravated, in which case, the Dodgers would be able to reactivate Brad Ausmus.

Ideally, the Dodgers may want to give the 41-year-old backup catcher some more rehab time, but he is physically able to play now, team trainer Stan Conte said. Ausmus, out since April after back surgery, caught nine innings for Triple-A Albuquerque on Sunday and was with the Dodgers on Monday.

"If he gets hit there again it'll bother him," Conte said of Martin. "If something happened, somebody got hurt, and they wanted to move somebody in, [Ausmus] could come in."

As for Martin's secrecy, Torre said it wasn't preferred: "We've said that many times. And I know on the other side of it he's trying not to be a handicap to anybody, but it would help if you tried to get it better, too."