Billingsley exits early with right elbow tenderness

Billingsley exits early with right elbow tenderness

LOS ANGELES -- Chad Billingsley was taken out of Friday night's game in the fourth inning with a tender right elbow.

He had an MRI exam following the Dodgers' 11-4 win over the Marlins that revealed inflammation, but neither he nor manager Don Mattingly knew what the next step would be.

"It's hard to tell," Billingsley said. "It just happened. They told me to just let it rest and go from there."

With runners at second and third and a 2-0 count against Marlins pinch-hitter Gorkys Hernandez, head trainer Sue Falsone came out to check on Billingsley, followed by Mattingly and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt. After a couple of minutes evaluating Billingsley on the mound, Mattingly sent in Jamey Wright to relieve the starter.

Billingsley served up a double to Rob Brantly before facing Hernandez, and he said that was when he noticed he didn't feel right. After throwing two more pitches to the next batter, he called Mattingly and Honeycutt out to let them know he wasn't comfortable throwing.

The righty had a short stint on the disabled list in July with right elbow inflammation. After missing his first start following the All-Star break, Billingsley went 6-0 with 1.30 ERA in six starts.

Billingsley said it seems to be the same thing as before, but he wasn't sure if he would need to skip another start or go to the DL. Mattingly also said it was way too early to know.

"I'm going to wake up tomorrow morning and see how it is," Billingsley said. "I'll get some treatment on it and get ready for the next time out there."

He had lost five straight starts before heating up, and he was 4-9 through the first half.

Billingsley gave up a two-run homer to Jose Reyes in the first inning, and he exited Friday's game after giving up three runs on five hits.

With a victory on Friday, Billingsley would have become the first Dodgers pitcher since Kevin Brown in 2003 to win seven straight starts.

Wright issued a walk to Hernandez, which was charged to Billingsley. He struck out the next two batters to strand the bases loaded and keep the Dodgers' lead at three.

Alex Angert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.