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Hanley returns to action as pinch-hitter

LOS ANGELES -- Hanley Ramirez was held out of the Dodgers' lineup Friday for a fifth straight game, the result of a jammed right shoulder, but was able to pinch-hit in the seventh inning.

Ramirez struck out swinging against Rays starter David Price with a runner on third and the Dodgers trailing, 6-1, to end the seventh. But it was a positive sign for the Dodgers because it was Ramirez's first action since Sunday.

Ramirez said he planned to hit in the cage before Friday's game to see how his shoulder felt. He hit off a tee at full speed Thursday in St. Louis and played catch in the outfield at Dodger Stadium on Friday afternoon.

"We're just happy right now he's feeling a lot better," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "He's feeling good, but we want to be careful and make sure that he's ready."

Ramirez injured his shoulder when caught a popup and fell into the stands Sunday at Wrigley Field. The Dodgers have no plans for the shortstop to undergo an MRI exam on the shoulder.

Nick Punto started at shortstop Friday.

Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for
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