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LAA@CLE: Masterson strikes out five in seven innings

Dodgers pitcher Josh Beckett has been dealing with general soreness lately, but he is expected to make his scheduled start against the Indians on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium.

"He's ready to go," manager Don Mattingly said. "There's times where he doesn't throw a bullpen. I think it's always general. At times he has some hip stuff he deals with, but it's been general stuff. It hasn't been anything about his surgery or his arm, just general soreness."

If Beckett has been sore for much of this season, he hasn't shown it. Beckett missed most of last season and underwent surgery in July for thoracic outlet syndrome. The surgery removed one of his ribs as a method to alleviate an upper back/shoulder issue. In his limited time, Beckett put up a 5.19 ERA in only eight starts.

But Beckett has been dominant this season. He's currently 5-4 with a 2.11 ERA -- third best in the Major Leagues -- and he tossed his first career no-hitter on May 25 in Philadelphia.

With Beckett dealing with regular soreness, the Dodgers' staff has been keeping an eye on him between starts.

"Josh is always the guy that, in between starts, we worry about," Mattingly said. "Because he's just kind of battled every time we get ready for the next one.

"He's got over 2,000 innings on him. ... You watch all your guys, but especially a guy who's -- I'm not saying he's old -- but who has a little mileage on him. You've got to pay attention. So we try to do the best we can."

If Beckett can't make his scheduled start, the Dodgers have a back-up plan.

The Dodgers held Red Patterson from his scheduled start at Triple-A Albuquerque on Sunday and will get the start if Beckett can't pitch.

Patterson made one start earlier in the season for the Dodgers, going 4 2/3 innings against the Twins on May 1 while giving up only one run. He is 3-6 with a 4.81 ERA with the Isotopes.

Indians: Swisher sitting of late
With no designated hitter in the lineup at National League venues, Nick Swisher has been the odd man out in the Indians' three Interleague games during this road trip.

Swisher, who has hit .193 with a .601 OPS in 63 games this season, said the timing off the trip hasn't helped him break out of his season-long slump.

"This year has been a crazy year," Swisher said on Monday. "I've been dealing with some bad luck, dealing with some adversity, dealing with some injuries. It's all kind of come up at once. It's the first time in 11 years I've gone through something like this. So, it's uncharted waters for me."

Tuesday starter Justin Masterson, who got his first opportunity to hit this season in his last start, against the D-backs on June 24, nearly got on base on a groundout to third. However, he was called out on the close play.

"I thought I was safe from the get-go," Masterson said after the game.

Dodgers: Ramirez likely to avoid DL
Shortstop Hanley Ramirez didn't spend much time back on the field when he returned to the lineup after missing four games with an arthritic right shoulder, leaving Saturday's game against the Cardinals with an injured left calf after two innings.

Ramirez wasn't in the starting lineup Sunday or in Monday's series opener with the Indians, but he made an appearance as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning. He was walked intentionally, advanced to second on a single and then removed for a pinch-runner.

Mattingly said he was optimistic Ramirez could get back into the lineup soon.

"At this point, I don't think we're looking at the DL," he said. "But we'll obviously see where that goes."

Worth noting
• Dodgers starting pitchers have walked two or fewer batters in 34 consecutive games, the longest single-season run by an NL team since 1914.

• Monday's game marked the first time in Indians history that they were held to no more than one hit in consecutive games, dating back to at least 1914. Cleveland became the first American League club to be held to one hit in back-to-back games since May 3-4, 1996, when Detroit was saddled with the forgettable feat.

• The Indians have been shut out for 21 consecutive innings, during which the offense has gone a combined 3-for-63. Comments