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Hanley expected to rejoin lineup on road trip

Hanley expected to rejoin lineup on road trip

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Hanley expected to rejoin lineup on road trip

LOS ANGELES -- Hanley Ramirez was held out of the Dodgers' lineup for a seventh straight game on Wednesday because of a troublesome left hamstring but pinch-hit in the ninth inning of a 12-inning loss to the D-backs and is expected to start at shortstop on Friday, when the club opens a three-game series in Pittsburgh.

Ramirez ran the bases before Wednesday's game, took batting practice and fielded ground balls. He did not have any soreness or limitations from his bothersome hamstring. Ramirez pinch-hit in the ninth and grounded into a double play.

"He was close to getting himself in the lineup today with what he was able to do before the game," manager Don Mattingly said after the Dodgers lost, 8-6. "I think we tried to err on the side of caution tonight with the off day tomorrow. I'm planning on starting him Friday, unless something happens between here and there."

Ramirez missed 28 games with a strained left hamstring before he was activated from the disabled list last Tuesday. He started two games and pinch-hit in the next three but hadn't appeared in a game since Saturday.

Nick Punto and Luis Cruz have filled in for Ramirez at shortstop over the past week.

Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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