LOS ANGELES -- Hiroki Kuroda's next start following his Sunday outing against the Tigers might be made on extra rest, Dodgers manager Joe Torre said Saturday.
Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley and John Ely will pitch in succession on the normal four days' rest after Monday's off-day, and the Dodgers will have to come up with a fifth starter by the end of the week. Whomever that pitcher is -- Ramon Ortiz, Carlos Monasterios, Charlie Haeger or someone else -- he could end up pitching Friday night in Colorado, with Kuroda starting on Saturday.
"If you have the choice of an extra day or not, you might as well take it," Torre said.
After Monday, the Dodgers play 16 consecutive games before their next off-day on June 10.
Kuroda, 35, was limited to 117 1/3 innings last season and twice went on the disabled list. He's 5-1 with a 2.87 ERA in eight starts this season and was the team's only consistent pitcher in April.
Furcal goes through final test for Dodgers
LOS ANGELES -- Rafael Furcal could be fewer than 24 hours from returning to the lineup, and Andre Ethier appears head of schedule.
Furcal had five at-bats in extended spring training Saturday and went through all the "quick actions" manager Joe Torre said would be the final test before he was activated.
Ethier, who was on his way to a National League Player of the Month Award before he fractured his right little finger, has been hitting off a tee and appears ahead of schedule. He went on the disabled list May 15.
"He's doing some stick work, so that's good," Torre said. "He stayed off the tee, so we'll just keep our fingers crossed. [He'll] do what he can do and we'll see at the end of two weeks where we are. He seems to be doing more than they thought he'd be able to do at this point."
Torre said the team would decide on Sunday whether to activate Furcal before the 1:10 p.m. PT game with the Tigers at Dodger Stadium, or to wait until Tuesday in Chicago after an off-day Monday.
"[It went] real good, only thing we wait for tomorrow is to see how he his body feels," Torre said. "He played enough to convince that everybody that was watching that it was a good test for him."
Furcal laid down a bunt in the controlled game environment. Dodgers head trainer Stan Conte made the trip to Camelback Ranch in Arizona to watch.
Green would have to clear waivers to move
LOS ANGELES -- Infielder Nick Green is the likely candidate for demotion when Rafael Furcal is activated from the disabled list, but Green is out of options and would have to clear waivers first.
Asked Saturday about the impending move, manager Joe Torre mentioned Blake DeWitt, who still has options and would not have to clear waivers. DeWitt won the starting second-base job out of Spring Training and is batting .274 with 11 RBIs. He has yet to homer and has 10 extra-base hits.
"Got Green, who came up, or DeWitt, who has an option," Torre said. "DeWitt's done ... well, no question, just a matter of what road do you want to take in the immediate future? ... Please don't take the ball and run with this on this one."
Green has had just eight at-bats entering Saturday since he was called up, and he had one hit Friday in a 4-1 win over the Tigers. In seven seasons, he's a career .238 hitter in the Majors.
Dodgers' May has provided a bonus
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers' 15-4 mark in May entering Saturday was the best of any team in the Majors and could be one of the best months in team history. Their winning percentage in the month is .789, and only the 1977 Dodgers did better, going 17-3 (.850) in April.
The Dodgers entered Saturday having won 11 of 12 without Andre Ethier, Rafael Furcal or Vicente Padilla, but they have received some phenomenal pitching. Since losing to the Rockies, 8-0, on May 8, the Dodgers had posted a Major League-best 2.42 ERA.
"Your Opening Day starter, right fielder and shortstop are gone, you lose Manny [Ramirez] for two weeks," manager Joe Torre said. "You know things are going to happen only because your experience tells you things are going to happen. That's why it's important to have support staff, your bench. It just gives you an indication how important pitching is."
The Dodgers had sunk to six games back on May 9 and entered Saturday tied with the Padres for the National League West lead at 24-18.
"Only thing I was thinking about was getting to .500, now we're six games over," Torre said. "Now my eye's on 10 games over. It's all about what we do, and what the other teams do -- unless we play them -- is not of concern."
Evan Drellich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.