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Capuano likely to start Sunday on short rest

Capuano likely to start Sunday on short rest

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SAN DIEGO -- Chris Capuano is almost certain to start Sunday's game on short rest, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Friday night.

Mattingly said he still needed to confirm with general manager Ned Colletti but was further convinced after Capuano threw a light bullpen session Friday.

"I feel great, I'm available and they'll make the final decision," said Capuano, who has undergone a pair of Tommy John operations and already been disabled twice this year for lat and calf strains.

Capuano came off the disabled list with the strained lat muscle to pitch six relatively stress-free and scoreless innings in the second game of Wednesday's doubleheader at Yankee Stadium.

He said one of the reasons he came out after 84 pitches was knowing that the club needed a Sunday starter because the Tuesday night rainout in New York pushed back Hyun-Jin Ryu, who has never pitched on three days' rest.

Capuano hasn't pitched on three days' rest since his final start of 2005, before the elbow operations. But he said he has bounced back quickly from Wednesday's start.

"After the sixth inning the other day, I said we'd need someone Sunday and that was also a factor coming out after the sixth inning," he said. "I felt so good I was looking to go back out [for the seventh inning], but I also understood this was in the back of my mind."

Mattingly said if the club decides not to start Capuano, a starter would be called up from Triple-A Albuquerque. The two candidates are Matt Palmer and Matt Magill, but that seemed less likely after Friday night's game than before it.

And even if Capuano starts, the Dodgers wouldn't expect him to pitch more than five innings and the Dodgers would consider promoting a reliever.

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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