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Four batters, two injuries for Dodgers

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Notes, Quotes · Roster Report · Four batters, two injuries for Dodgers

The exasperation in Don Mattingly's voice and body language is warranted.

Injuries are part of the game, he reiterates often. "No excuses" was the mantra in spring training, and he repeats that over and over.

But this is ridiculous. Three more players were injured over the weekend, including two within four batters on Sunday in an 8-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

Right fielder Andre Ethier ran into the fence trying to make a catch of Juan Pierre's drive in the fourth inning. The next batter hit a blooper that dropped between Ethier and second baseman Jamey Carroll, and when Ethier ran gingerly, he was removed.

Two batters later, catcher Rod Barajas was trying to tag out Pierre on a sacrifice fly. Matt Kemp's strong throw was a one-hopper, forcing Barajas to catch the ball behind home plate. When he lunged forward to apply the tag, Pierre's cleats arrived at the same time. He was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the next inning.

X-rays were negative on both players, and they will be re-evaluated Monday in Houston. Ethier's injury were listed as a right elbow contusion, lower right back contusion and left big toe sprain. Barajas is listed with a right wrist strain.

The bullpen already has four key weapons disabled: Jonathan Broxton, Hong-Chih Kuo, Vicente Padilla and Blake Hawksworth -- plus Ronald Belisario never showed up.

The starting left side of the infield, Rafael Furcal and Casey Blake, has missed over a month on the DL. Furcal missed 37 games, returned on Sunday, and Juan Uribe took his place on the DL after leaving Friday's game with a strained lower abdominal.

Hawksworth missed the first five games with a back injury, returned for two weeks, and now has missed another 25 games and counting, including Sunday. He will start a rehab assignment Monday with Class AAA Albuquerque.

Fill-in infielder Aaron Miles wasn't available all weekend with rib cage soreness. The Dodgers could get away with having two infielders unavailable when there was a designated hitter, but can't do that this week in Houston when the pitcher needs to hit.

A decision is due soon on Miles. The Dodgers have nine infielders on the 40-man roster. The only one not active or on the DL is Ivan De Jesus Jr.

"Something's got to give," Mattingly said. "We've just got to find out. I'd like to buy Miles another day, but it may not help even if I give him until Monday."

Padilla's trip to the DL this week was the Dodgers 14th this year. Uribe was the 15th. Miles, Ethier or Barajas are all candidates to become the 16th.

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