Short-handed Dodgers without Loney

Updated: July 18, 2010, 2:57 PM ET
By Tony Jackson | ESPNLosAngeles.com

ST. LOUIS -- Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman James Loney was out of the lineup on Sunday against the St. Louis Cardinals after suffering a severe cramp in his left hamstring in his final at-bat on Saturday.

"He just isn't totally 100 percent," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "I would hate for him to slip out there or have to stretch. There is just a little bit of tenderness where there is still just a little bit of pain. He is available to hit, but I don't want to take any chances by starting him."

Loney is expected to return to the starting lineup on Monday night against San Francisco.

Loney appeared to be in agonizing pain after popping up for the first out in the ninth against Cardinals reliever Trever Miller. Loney's left leg seemed to collapse under him on the follow-through of his swing, and Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina had to hold him up until Torre and assistant trainer Todd Tomczyk could get to the plate.

Loney had to be helped off the field and was unable to bend his left knee. But by the time the game was over a few minutes later, he had been diagnosed with a hamstring cramp, probably the result of dehydration in the suffocating heat.

Dodgers left fielder Manny Ramirez (right calf) and catcher Russell Martin (left thumb) also remained out of the starting lineup. Torre said Martin will return on Monday night, but wasn't sure about Ramirez.

"He is about the same as [Saturday]," Torre said. "I think there is an outside chance he could pinch hit today."

Ramirez left Friday night's game after one inning with his calf tightened up. At the time, he had been back from the disabled list for a little more than 24 hours after spending two weeks there with a strained right hamstring.

Martin has been battling soreness in his left thumb, the probable result of the repetition of all the pitches he catches.

"Russ is available," Torre said. "He came to me wanting to catch [Sunday]. I told him that was a good idea, but with [Vicente] Padilla pitching, it probably wasn't a good time to test the thumb because he is a sinker guy."

Torre turns 70

Torre turned 70 on Sunday, but said he didn't feel any different for reaching the milestone.

"I guess when I see so many people my age who aren't as active as I am, it makes me feel that whatever I'm trying to do, it seems to be working," Torre said. "I get frustrated when I get a little tired some days, but I just remind myself that I'm not as young as I once was."

Torre received several gifts, including a bottle of champagne from the coaching staff and an additional bottle of champagne from first-base coach Mariano Duncan. Torre's personal assistant, Chris Romanello, gave him a DVD copy of "Apollo 13," autographed by Gene Kranz, the NASA flight director for the mission, along with a videotaped birthday wish from Kranz and mission astronaut Jim Lovell.

Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Tony Jackson

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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