Hairston says groin tweak a 'non-issue'

Hairston says groin tweak a 'non-issue'

SAN FRANCISCO -- Jerry Hairston, starting at first base Saturday night in place of the injured Adrian Gonzalez, was removed in the fifth inning in a double-switch, although he confirmed he "felt a little bit of a tweak in the groin" to explain why he was limping while scoring on Matt Kemp's two-run single.

With the Dodgers batting around, Hairston came up a second time in the frame and struck out to end the inning, then was removed as manager Don Mattingly put Luis Cruz at first base for the first time in his Major League career and moved pinch-hitter Nick Punto to third base, replacing Juan Uribe.

"I felt fine and could have stayed in the game. It was very minor," Hairston said. "It was just a natural double-switch but I could have played. It's really a non-issue. I hit the bag funny rounding third and I just wanted to make sure I didn't overextend."

Mattingly said he was told that Hairston was OK, "but I'm not sure what that means. We'll see tomorrow."

Hairston was already playing slightly hurt, having received stitches in his right eyebrow after a fall in his hotel room after Friday night's 2-1 loss to the Giants.

"I wish I had a really good story," he said. "I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, tripped on a bag and hit my head on a desk. I was hoping I was dreaming; I found out I wasn't. A lot of guys gave me grief. I guess my face has character. In the past month I wanted to pick a fight [suspended one game for his part in a brawl] and a desk finally beat me up."

Hairston also was hit by a Ryan Vogelsong pitch on the left forearm, but said it was OK.

In addition to Gonzalez's neck injury, the Dodgers lost Hanley Ramirez to a hamstring strain Friday night and have been playing for a week without Mark Ellis, who has a strained quad.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.