ATLANTA -- Manager Don Mattingly's forensic study of Jordan Schafer's bloop single in a pivotal sixth inning Friday night revealed shortstop Dee Gordon was too aggressive.
"Dee was in the spot where Carl [Crawford] could catch the ball," Mattingly said. "Carl saw him and pulled up. You could see Carl almost come to a stop three strides before and the ball hits closer to his feet."
The single started a one-out rally that included an error by third baseman Luis Cruz and a grand slam by Justin Upton off left-handed reliever Paco Rodriguez, providing the decisive runs for Atlanta in an 8-5 Dodgers loss.
"I talked to Dee, and he said as soon as he peeled off, he felt he was in Carl's way," said Mattingly. "He knows he went too far. He was in no-man's land. It was kind of borderline. You want him to be aggressive, but you don't want bloopers dropping. It's a fine line. You want him to learn from it. You don't want to see it again. Part of it is knowing Carl plays shallow."
Lilly set for Milwaukee return, but possibly in 'pen
ATLANTA -- Pitcher Ted Lilly will be activated from the disabled list when the Dodgers are in Milwaukee, beginning Monday next week, but manager Don Mattingly said he isn't sure what the lefty's role will be.
Lilly was placed on the 15-day disabled list on April 30 with a ribcage strain. He threw a bullpen session Friday and will be ready to pitch Monday or Tuesday.
Mattingly, who said Friday he wanted Lilly to make a second rehab start, said Lilly could pitch out of the bullpen or return to the starting rotation, especially if Matt Magill's start Sunday doesn't go well.
"We'll see what happens tomorrow," Mattingly said. "We'll see how Magill looks."
Lilly and the club also differed over his readiness in April, when he was returning from last year's shoulder surgery, and Mattingly conceded the ongoing issue has created "a little bit of dysfunction."
The Dodgers could skip the Magill/Lilly spot the next time it comes up May 25 because of next Thursday's day off.
Magill has options, so he could be sent to the Minor Leagues. But the Dodgers will also need a roster spot in the next week for the anticipated return of Scott Elbert from the disabled list.
M. Ellis set to rejoin club, though rehab may continue
ATLANTA -- Second baseman Mark Ellis played one more inning than he was scheduled in Saturday's rehab appearance with Double-A Chattanooga, spending seven innings in the field while going 0-for-3 with a walk, two strikeouts and a run scored. After the game he will meet the Dodgers in Atlanta, then fly with the club to Milwaukee after Sunday's finale with the Braves.
Manager Don Mattingly said Ellis wouldn't be activated Sunday, but might make one more rehab appearance with Class A Great Lakes, which plays Monday in Lansing, Mich. Ellis played three innings and had one at-bat Friday night, but his appearance was cut short by an inning because of a wet field.
"Everything was fine. No issues," Mattingly said of Ellis' right quad, which was strained on April 26.
When Ellis returns, the Dodgers will need a 25-man roster spot, which puts infielder Luis Cruz and third-string catcher Ramon Hernandez on the bubble.
Elbert throws 13 pitches in Double-A rehab start
ATLANTA -- Scott Elbert allowed one run on two hits in one inning Saturday night as he continued his rehab assignment with Double-A Chattanooga.
Elbert started and threw 13 pitches after already making three relief appearances with Class A Rancho Cucamonga. He allowed a single and RBI double to the first two batters he faced, then retired the next three hitters.
Elbert is returning from a pair of elbow operations. He still needs to pitch on consecutive days before being activated.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.