LOS ANGELES -- Hanley Ramirez has an irritated nerve in his back, the Dodgers announced Friday. The club said the shortstop received a cortisone injection and is expected to be available to play next week.
This is not a new injury for Ramirez, who spent 15 days on the disabled list in 2011 with a lower left back strain when he was with the Marlins. Ramirez had an MRI exam Friday afternoon, and the Dodgers said it showed no difference in comparison to an MRI exam of the same area in 2011.
Ramirez exited Thursday's game after six innings with what the Dodgers said was a tight left hamstring. Manager Don Mattingly said Ramirez has dealt with tightness in his hamstring for a few weeks and the shortstop indicated to him a few days ago that it could have resulted from a nerve.
"It really makes a lot more sense to us now," Mattingly said. "This thing has been off and on. He'll tighten up and the next day he's fine. A couple days later, he'll feel something and then he's fine."
Ramirez did not answer questions after Thursday's game and was not at the ballpark Friday when the media was allowed in the clubhouse.
The Dodgers have a comfortable lead over Arizona in the National League West and are in position to clinch the division as early as Sunday, so the club does not have to rush Ramirez back to action.
"We're going to be able to rest him," Mattingly said. "We don't have to push him out there at this point. We'll be careful with him as far as making sure that when he gets back out there, we're on the other side of it."
The shortstop had three at-bats Thursday before he came out of the game. Ramirez ran hard on an infield single in the first inning, struck out in the third and jogged to first on a routine grounder in the fifth. He did not appear to be limited defensively.
"All of a sudden it just got a little farther than they're comfortable with," Mattingly said. "I really think we're trying to be cautious and make sure it doesn't get worse. But what Hanley was telling us last night was not something we haven't been hearing for two to three weeks."
Nick Punto started at shortstop Friday, and Mattingly said he plans to also use Dee Gordon while Ramirez is sidelined.
Ethier expects to be fine after tweaking ankle
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier downplayed an irritated left ankle that forced him out of Friday night's 4-2 loss to the Giants after he doubled in the eighth inning.
He received treatment for 45 minutes after the game and said the ankle felt "good."
"Show up tomorrow and see if I'm ready to go," he said.
Manager Don Mattingly said Ethier was "fine" after a day off last week and was hopeful of a repeat.
"I expect him to be OK," he said. "I'm sure we'll be cautious with him."
With the Dodgers trailing, 4-2, Ethier grounded a pitch off left-hander Javier Lopez inside first base and down the right-field line. Three steps after rounding first base, Ethier began limping and hobbled into second base.
After a brief meeting with Mattingly at the bag, Ethier was replaced by pinch-runner Dee Gordon.
"I was asked the question, on a ground ball, could I score?" Ethier said. "I wasn't sure if I could really make the turn to do it. I felt it on the first turn when I tried to go to second."
Ethier said he believes he twisted the ankle swinging at an inside pitch in Colorado, apparently on Sept. 3, as he was out of the lineup Sept. 4 against left-hander Jorge De La Rosa but had one at-bat after being inserted into the game in the seventh inning.
He started the next five games, sat out Wednesday night's game against Arizona when the ankle tightened and returned to the lineup Thursday night.
Either said the injury bothers him turning, mostly when rounding a base. He said he doesn't feel it running straight.
Ethier's injury comes one night after Hanley Ramirez left a game with an inflamed nerve in his lower back, while Matt Kemp continues a very slow rehab in Arizona from ankle and hamstring problems.
Capuano moved to bullpen; Kemp runs curves
LOS ANGELES -- Chris Capuano threw a bullpen session Friday to test his strained left groin, and manager Don Mattingly said the left-hander would assume a relief role for the time being.
Capuano has started 20 games this season, but he began the year in the bullpen and made two relief appearances before joining the rotation. He's made 27 relief appearances in his career and could have value in that role for the Dodgers in the postseason.
"We're going to use him out of the 'pen for right now," Mattingly said. "It doesn't mean he won't get a start as we go forward. We'll see where we go with that."
In other injury news, Mattingly said Matt Kemp ran curves in the outfield at the Dodgers' Spring Training facility at Camelback Ranch-Glendale. Kemp, on the disabled list for the third time this season, had not run on the field since experiencing tightness in his right hamstring last week.
"It sounded like he had a good day again," Mattingly said. "He's still progressing. Once [the athletic training staff] let him outside and he starts doing that, I know they're feeling a little more comfortable. That leads me to believe he's feeling pretty good."
Dodgers slate LGBT celebration for Sept. 27
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers will host their first LGBT Night Out at Dodger Stadium on Sept. 27 for a 7:10 p.m. PT game against the Rockies.
LGBT Night Out at Dodger Stadium will feature a celebrity throwing out the first pitch, and a special guest will perform the national anthem with the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles. There will be fireworks after the game, with music by DJ Manny Lehman.
"We welcome all fans to Dodger Stadium throughout each season," said Dodgers executive vice president and chief marketing officer Lon Rosen. "We are especially proud to welcome and recognize the LGBT community of Los Angeles, an integral part of the city and of the Dodgers community."
The Dodgers partnered with Tom Whitman and Flip Events to design the special event. Fans can purchase tickets for LGBT Night Out at Dodger Stadium by visiting www.dodgers.com/out using the promotional code OUT. Groups of 20 or more will receive special recognition opportunities.
"The Dodgers have been standing on the right side of history from the days of Jackie Robinson through today," said Whitman. "LGBT Night Out on Sept. 27 will be an amazing night for baseball fans, for the LGBT community and everyone who is true blue."
La Gran Fiesta Viva Los Dodgers set for Saturday
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers will mark Hispanic Heritage Month on Saturday with their 16th annual La Gran Fiesta Viva Los Dodgers starting at 2 p.m. PT, with Dodger Stadium auto gates opening at 1:30 p.m.
La Gran Fiesta Viva Los Dodgers is the culmination of a season-long series of family-friendly events celebrating Latino culture in Los Angeles and the legacy of Latino Dodgers past and present. Admission to the event is free those with tickets to the 6:10 p.m. game against the Giants, which is sold out.
Current Dodgers Ronald Belisario, Adrian Gonzalez, Jerry Hairston, Kenley Jansen and Juan Uribe are scheduled to appear. Gonzalez and Jansen will participate in a Q&A session, as will Spanish-language broadcasters Jaime Jarrin, Fernando Valenzuela and Pepe Yniguez. Jarrin will serve as master of ceremonies for the event.
Belisario, Gonzalez, Hairston and Uribe will sign autographs, as will alumni Billy Ashley, Bobby Castillo, Lou Johnson, Ken Landreaux and Manny Mota.
Gonzalez's Viva Los Dodgers will host families from Alma Family Services, an organization dedicated to advancing the quality of life of families and individuals coping with a range of needs. Gonzalez and his wife, Betsy, have hosted groups throughout the season.
Maria E. Avila, youth leader of Alma Family Services, will be recognized with the "Heroe de la Comunidad" award for leadership and service in the Latino and greater Los Angeles community.
Entertainment will be provided by KCRW DJ Raul Campos, Jungle Fire, El Conjunto Nueva Ola and La Charanga Cubana. Trio Ellas will provide entertainment for fans in the autograph lines.
As part of Kellogg's Hispanic Heritage Family Day, fans will receive a Hispanic Heritage booklet when they enter the stadium that features Fernando Valenzuela. Tony the Tiger will visit the Kids' Zone during the game. The event is presented by Coca-Cola, State Farm, Time Warner Cable and Chevrolet.