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Hanley joins Dodgers' Game 6 lineup at last minute

Star shortstop was originally sitting against Cards, but gets the nod to replace Punto

ST. LOUIS -- Injured Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez was added to the starting lineup 30 minutes before first pitch Friday after not being in the original lineup for Game 6 of the National League Championship Series against the Cardinals.

Ramirez has been limited by a hairline fracture of the eighth rib on his left side suffered when hit by a 95-mph Joe Kelly fastball in the first inning of Game 1.

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Ramirez did not take batting practice with the team, but he came out to the field to loosen up around the time the announcement was made that he would be starting after all.

"I'm still 0-fer the year on my predictions about medical health going into the next day," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, who predicted on Thursday that Ramirez would start Game 6.

Nick Punto, who started at shortstop in Game 2, had been listed as the starting shortstop Friday.

Mattingly said Ramirez told him he felt "worse today than yesterday."

"If something would change before game time, we'd switch up," Mattingly said at a press conference 2 1/2 hours before first pitch. "All of a sudden he's trying to do things and he could get loose, he may be in there. But I don't anticipate that.

"I expected yesterday off and kind of a full day today, that he'd be a little better. But I think maybe the lack of activity may even have just gotten stiffer or tighter."

Ramirez is 2-for-12, both hits being soft singles, with five strikeouts and three walks, two intentional. Defensively, he seems reluctant to chase popups.

Andre Ethier, playing with a microfracture of his lower left leg, was in the starting lineup in center field. Ramirez was placed into the cleanup spot, separating No. 3 hitter Adrian Gonzalez and Ethier. Rookie Yasiel Puig was hitting sixth.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for

Los Angeles Dodgers, Hanley Ramirez