Furcal picks up two hits in first rehab game

Furcal picks up two hits in first rehab game

Furcal picks up two hits in first rehab game
LOS ANGELES -- Rafael Furcal went 2-for-3 with three RBIs in his first game of a rehab stint for Triple-A Albuquerque on Saturday night in Tucson, Ariz.

All three at-bats were left-handed, but Don Mattingly said Furcal, who broke his left thumb on April 11, took some right-handed swings during batting practice and hopes the shortstop will be able to hit from the right side Monday, when Tucson is scheduled to start a left-hander.

"He's progressing, and obviously had some success last night, so that's a good sign," Mattingly said.

Mattingly also said third baseman Casey Blake could potentially begin a rehab assignment by the end of the week. Blake took batting practice and ground balls Saturday, and Mattingly hopes Blake is ready to play in games when the team heads to Chicago to face the White Sox on May 20.

The Dodgers have had 11 players see time on the disabled list this season, and Mattingly admitted all the roster attrition has thinned out his bench. Utility guys like Jamey Carroll and Aaron Miles have appeared in 39 and 36 games, respectively, while Blake and Furcal have played in a combined 21 games.

"These things are going to happen," Mattingly said. "I think we get a chance to kind of battle through this and become better. And hopefully get our guys back to full strength and get on a little run."

Outfielder Marcus Thames, on the DL with a right quad strain, is still a little ways away, Mattingly said.