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05/06/10 2:03 AM ET

Ely may be pitching for spot in LA's rotation

Dave Bush hasn't exactly started the season the way he wanted. The Milwaukee right-hander enters Thursday's start against the Dodgers with a 1-2 record and a lofty 4.60 ERA.

But at least his spot in the Brewers' rotation is secure. That isn't the case for Dodgers right-hander John Ely, who makes his second career start Thursday.

Both starts came in place of injured right-hander Vicente Padilla, but it could be Ely's last for some time with reliever Jeff Weaver expected to return from the disabled list before Friday's game against the Rockies.

Even Dodgers manager Joe Torre couldn't say for sure whether an impressive performance from Ely would solidify his spot in the rotation.

"If he goes out there and gives us a chance to win, we'll see what we see," Torre said. "We are up against the situation now -- with Weaver coming back, we're going to have to make a move. Even though he pitches well, he still could be one of the guys that won't be here. He knew that when he got here."

Ely gave the Dodgers length in his lone start this season, when he tossed six innings against the Mets on April 28 -- but he also allowed five runs and suffered through two shaky innings early on.

He'll have to limit the Brewers' duo of Ryan Braun and Casey McGehee, who have been RBI machines this year with Prince Fielder off to a slow start.

Braun and McGehee have combined for 47 RBIs this season, which trails only the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera and Magglio Ordonez, the D-backs' Mark Reynolds and Chris Young and the Dodgers' Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp for the Major League lead among teammates.

McGehee is following up his impressive rookie season -- when he led all first-year players with 66 RBIs -- with a hot start this season, as he is batting .299 with 23 RBIs to date.

"When things weren't going well for him in Spring Training, he started hitting the ball to right-center a little bit more," said Brewers manager Ken Macha. "The sophomore slump [comes] when they make an adjustment to you, and you have to make an adjustment to them. So far, so good."

Brewers: Fielder heating up at dish
Fielder entered the Brewers' three-game series with the Dodgers with just nine RBIs this season, but matched his two-RBI performance from Tuesday with two more on Wednesday. The first baseman notched a two-run single off Chad Billingsley in the first inning of the Brewers' 11-3 victory.

Dodgers: Sound defense the name of the game
The Dodgers made their first error of their 10-game homestand on Wednesday when Casey Blake made an errant throw in the seventh inning. That broke a six-game errorless streak, but the recent lack of defensive miscues has been a nice change of pace for the Dodgers, who had the most errors in the league entering their homestand on Friday. "We're playing more like who we are," Torre said. "We made all those errors earlier. You don't run and hide from them, but you knew where the errors were coming from. We were better than that. I think over the long haul, we're going to play like we're supposed to."

Worth noting
Three days away from his scheduled return to the Dodgers, Manny Ramirez took batting practice at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, and he will play left field Thursday for Class A Inland Empire in his second rehab start. ... Dodgers knuckleballer Charlie Haeger will make his fifth start of the season on Saturday against the Rockies after he threw four innings of one-run ball in relief on Tuesday against the Brewers. ... After an 0-for-21 start to the season, Brewers catcher Gregg Zaun is hitting .367 (18-for-49) since, including .526 (10-for-19) during a five-game hitting streak. He hit his first home run with the Brewers on Tuesday night.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.