CINCINNATI -- The Dodgers won the first two games of their series here and moved into first place in the NL West, but they lost their leadoff man overnight Wednesday. They've placed shortstop Rafael Furcal on the bereavement list and are not sure when he'll return.
Furcal notified manager Joe Torre around 1 a.m. Thursday that he has an ailing family member and needed to return to the Dominican Republic. By 8 a.m. Thursday, Furcal was on a plane home.
"One of those things that came up in the middle of the night," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "That's pretty much life."
Furcal, hitting .305 in 40 games this season, had gotten hot recently. He punched out five hits in the series opener here Tuesday night and, since returning from the disabled list on May 25, has batted .302 with two homers and 12 RBI in 21 games.
The Dodgers are unsure of when he'll return -- bereavement list rules state that a player must miss a minimum of three games -- and Torre said he'll mix and match leadoff men in Furcal's absence. Blake DeWitt was batting first in Thursday afternoon's series finale here.