Ramirez felt the injury swinging in the cage prior to the game and reported it to trainers. Just before game time, he played catch with Stan Conte, vice president of medical services, watching nearby, and it was decided that he would start.
"One swing, and it tied up on me," said Ramirez. "I tried to play. [Manager Don Mattingly] wanted to be careful and took me out of the game to get treatment. What he did, I think, was smart. He doesn't want me to get worse."
Ramirez, a free agent after this season, hasn't been on the disabled list in 2014, but he's missed 24 starts with injuries to his calf and shoulders.
"The team is doing good, and obviously, I want to be in there every day," he said. "And this comes up and, like, what happened? I've worked hard to stay in the lineup, then overnight, something happens, and you get disappointed."
The Dodgers had the difficult schedule of a game in Anaheim on Thursday night, when Ramirez served as designated hitter, then an overnight flight to Milwaukee that landed at 6:30 a.m. and the Friday night contest in Milwaukee.
Ramirez was removed after walking with two outs in the first inning, replaced by Miguel Rojas. Rojas was then replaced as part of a seventh-inning double switch by Justin Turner, who misplayed three balls in Milwaukee's four-run seventh inning.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.