Manny gets day off to rest hamstring
Slugger among four Dodgers regulars to sit on Sunday
LOS ANGELES -- Manny Ramirez was out of the Dodgers' lineup for just the second time this season as the slugging left fielder had the day off on Sunday because of tightness in his hamstring.Ramirez, whose only other day off was last Sunday against the Rockies, called Dodgers manager Joe Torre before Sunday's game against the Padres to tell him about his hamstring. Torre said he noticed that Ramirez had some trouble running in the outfield but hoped to wait a few days to give him a day off because he gave fellow regulars Russell Martin, Rafael Furcal and Casey Blake the day off on Sunday as well. "I knew he was moving a little slow, but I chose to ignore that," Torre said with a smile. "I was hoping I could wait until Monday or Tuesday to give him a day, but we'll have to rest four guys today." The Dodgers will have bench players Juan Pierre, Mark Loretta, Brad Ausmus and Juan Castro in the lineup instead as the team goes for its 10th straight win at home to start the season, which would set the club record. But Torre is confident that his backups can fill in capably against the Padres on Sunday because of their experience. "When I'm looking at Loretta and Ausmus, I'm looking at regular players, guys who've played regularly," Torre said. "So this is a lot different than a year ago when we rested our regulars." Pierre, who is batting .375, started in left field and hit first; Loretta, who is batting .450, started at third base and hit sixth; Ausmus, who is batting .462, started at catcher and hit seventh and Castro, who is batting .250, started at shortstop and hit eighth. Pierre has batted ninth in his past two starts but will lead off for just the second time this season with Furcal out of the lineup. Pitcher Chad Billingsley will bat ninth instead. "Billingsley was really fighting for that ninth spot," Torre said with a laugh. Torre said that he expects all four regulars to be back in the lineup on Monday when the Dodgers host the D-backs. And he also said that Ramirez's hamstring is nothing to worry about. "I think this is just a fatigue thing," Torre said. "He had the one day off in Colorado and that's it. I'm not concerned about it. He's fine."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.