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Blake, Furcal get rest for Dodgers

Blake, Furcal get rest for Dodgers

LOS ANGELES -- With the quick turnaround between Friday's 4-3 Dodgers win and Saturday's 1:10 p.m. PT start, shortstop Rafael Furcal and third baseman Casey Blake were out of Joe Torre's starting lineup.

Furcal was replaced by Juan Castro, and Blake was subbed for Mark Loretta.

Both moves are precautionary, and neither player is expected to see extended stays on the bench.

Furcal had surgery on his back last year and earlier this season suffered from a strained buttocks muscle. Blake recently strained his right hamstring, causing him to miss three consecutive games.

Torre told reporters before Saturday's game that the decision to rest both starters was made Friday.

"It's routine with Furcal," he said. "But with the leg issue that Casey had, I just wanted to make sure that we didn't take any chances. He's available, obviously."

Blake was instrumental in the Dodgers' comeback victory Friday against the Phillies as he began the ninth-inning rally with a single. Torre said that despite the leg question, he didn't consider using a pinch-runner for Blake.

"I looked at him from first base and I didn't have anybody else that was faster if he was OK," Torre said.

Neither Furcal nor Blake has had success against Joe Blanton, Saturday's starter for Philadelphia. Furcal is hitless in four career at-bats and Blake is 1-for-21 with seven strikeouts.

Their replacements -- Castro and Loretta -- haven't fared much better. They are a combined 1-for-9 against Blanton.

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

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