Andre Ethier, Rod Barajas leave game
CHICAGO -- The already injury-depleted Los Angeles Dodgers lost two more key players in the fourth inning of Sunday's game against the Chicago White Sox when right fielder Andre Ethier left the game with a bruised left elbow and lower back and a sprained left big toe and catcher Rod Barajas departed with a sprained right wrist.
Ethier underwent X-rays on his toe, Barajas on his wrist. Both were negative, and both players are listed as day to day.
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Ethier injured himself while backtracking in pursuit of a long fly ball by White Sox left fielder Juan Pierre that appeared catchable. Ethier missed the ball, crashing into the fence. He then fielded the carom off the wall. After throwing the ball back to the infield, Ethier immediately went into a crouched position in obvious pain.
"I had trouble for the first 20 or 30 seconds after it,'' Ethier said. "I was just trying to catch my breath.''
When Ethier couldn't get to a subsequent pop fly hit by Alexei Ramirez, the ball falling between Ethier and second baseman Jamey Carroll in shallow right field, Tony Gwynn was immediately sent to right field to replace Ethier. Ethier said the injury had nothing to do with his inability to get to the ball, adding that he was positioned too deep to get there, and that he didn't feel he needed to come out.
"I was planning on [continuing],'' Ethier said. "No one came out to check on me. ... I saw somebody running out toward me, and it was Tony.''
Ethier said he intends to be back in the lineup on Monday night in Houston.
"That is what I'm planning on doing,'' he said.
Barajas might be a bit more questionable. He also was hurt on a play involving Pierre, who slid home on a close play at the plate on a sacrifice fly by Paul Konerko. Barajas played the rest of that inning, then left for a pinch hitter in the top of the fifth.
"It made it uncomfortable to throw, so I didn't even try to pick up a bat,'' Barajas said. "That just wouldn't have made sense. ... The X-rays were negative, but we need to see how it feels [Monday]. If it continues to stay sore, there may be something else wrong and we'll have to take another look.''
Both manager Don Mattingly and general manager Ned Colletti said they would wait to decide whether they could afford to go forward with only one available catcher if Barajas isn't ready to play for a few days. Dioner Navarro, presently the team's only backup catcher, is hitting .115 (3-for-26) with seven strikeouts in 26 at-bats.
"Andre hit the fence pretty good there," Mattingly said. "We'll just see how he wakes up. ... I'm sure he'll feel like he was in a car wreck. Rod, we'll see."
A.J. Ellis, the only other catcher on the 40-man roster, hit .267 with a .421 on-base percentage in six games for the Dodgers before being sent back to Triple-A Albuquerque on April 25, when Navarro was activated from the disabled list.
The Dodgers have been plagued all season by injuries to key players. Shortstop Rafael Furcal was activated from the disabled list just before the game, six weeks after he broke his left thumb on a headfirst slide, but as he was coming off the DL, infielder Juan Uribe was going on it with a hip-flexor strain.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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