LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was strangely coy Sunday when talking about Yasiel Puig's hip injury, saying before the game that the rookie outfielder could be out of the starting lineup "between a day and two weeks."
He repeated that after the game even though Puig pinch-hit, making the last out of the game by grounding to shortstop with the bases loaded.
"It's still a two-week timeframe," Mattingly said. "It's still between a game and two weeks."
Puig was more direct, saying he came to the ballpark early Sunday to get treatment for hip pain that flared up Saturday. The trainers told him then he could pinch-hit but would not be able to play in the field.
As for when he could start again, Puig wouldn't rule out Monday's game in Arizona.
"With the treatment they're giving me, it shouldn't be long," he said.
Puig has been troubled by a sore shoulder, hamstring tightness, knee pain and a variety of other ailments. He came out of Saturday's game after landing awkwardly after a diving catch and being hit by a pitch.
"I'm trying to get my head around it," Mattingly said of Puig's latest injury. "He could play tomorrow. Or 10 days or seven days or five days."
Mattingly said an MRI exam was not scheduled, indicating the injury is not considered serious.
NO PAIN, NO GAIN
Also unable to play Sunday was shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who had two cortisone shots Friday to treat an irritated nerve in his lower back. That problem, combined with two lengthy stints on the disabled list, has forced Ramirez to sit out more than 55 games. As a result, he would have to play in all 13 of the Dodgers' remaining regular-season games just to match the career-low 92 games in which he appeared three years ago.
But Ramirez said the experience has been far from frustrating.
"It's been the best year in my career. I'm going to the playoffs for the first time," said Ramirez, who is hitting .342, matching his 2009 mark, which led the National League. "Every day I've got a chance to come here and play for this organization. It's been great."
Left-hander Paco Rodriguez is struggling down the stretch for the Dodgers. Sunday he came out of the bullpen to give up a game-winning home run in the eighth inning, the third time in seven appearances he has given up a run. He gave up an earned run only once in his previous 37 games.
Part of the reason could be workload. Rodriguez, a rookie, has pitched in a team-high 72 games. Before this season, he had appeared in only 32 games in the major and minor leagues.
"We've really been trying to walk the line ... trying to keep his usage down. But you also have to keep playing," Mattingly said. "So I'm a little bit concerned with him and with everyone.
"We can speculate on what it could be or might be or what it is. I don't think anybody's really going to know."
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