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Worth noting

Chad Billingsley came out of his simulated game Thursday at Dodger Stadium in good shape, according to manager Don Mattingly, who added, "We've got to let the medical [staff] make the decision where they want to go next."

Billingsley, coming back from Tommy John surgery, indicated he would need another simulated game before considering a rehab start. On April 6, he left in the second inning pitching for Class A Rancho Cucamonga, when he had a sensation in his elbow related to scar tissue breaking up.

• Coming into Friday night's game, Dodgers starters Josh Beckett, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw and Dan Haren were a combined 24-9 with a 2.81 ERA. They haven't yet hit their strides offensively -- Kershaw (.250) and Greinke (.200) leading the way -- but Mattingly said he'll put his starters up against any with the bats.

"Beckett drags us down," the manager said, grinning. Beckett and Ryu are both hitting .111, but Ryu showed the ability to drive the ball last season, hitting .207 with three doubles and a triple. Beckett is a .134 career hitter with three homers in 268 at-bats.

• Among Yasiel Puig's many virtues this season has been his .406 batting average with runners in scoring position, third in the National League. With two outs and RISP, he's batting .396. Once again, Puig comes to the plate prepared to cause quick damage, batting .486 and slugging .919 with four homers on 37 first pitches put in play. As a rookie, Puig hit .551 with a 1.072 slugging percentage on first pitches in play, going deep nine times in 69 at-bats.

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for Michael Lananna is an associate reporter for
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