SAN FRANCISCO -- Casey Blake returned to the lineup Wednesday night, but not at third base.
Blake, out since Saturday night with a deep left thigh bruise, started at first base in place of James Loney, who is hitting .163 this year and is 4-for-25 lifetime against Giants starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez. It's Blake's first time starting at first base since Aug. 20, 2008.
"James is not rolling at all," said manager Don Mattingly. "To me, he's kind of fighting himself. He was OK in spring, but we saw things the other day, getting his hands up a little bit. This guy [Sanchez] gives him trouble and Casey's back. We need to get him going."
The concern with Loney is that he is continuing where he left off last season, when he hit .211 after the All-Star break compared to .309 before it.
Mattingly was asked if Loney is trying to hit home runs, which have never been his game.
"I hope not," Mattingly said. "Last year, we tried to stay away from that. We always worked on his swing, his approach and understanding what pitchers are trying to do to get him out. We want him to be himself. He's never hit home runs, but he's always around 100 RBIs. To me, that's what we want. We want production, driving in runs."
Mattingly said Blake had healed enough to start at third base, if necessary.
Uribe feeling pain of getting pitched inside
SAN FRANCISCO -- Manager Don Mattingly wasn't saying whether he thought teams were intentionally trying to hit Juan Uribe, if not at least pitching him way inside.
But Mattingly understood why Uribe was annoyed Tuesday night when drilled on the left arm for the third time this season.
"You're never too happy when it's cold out there and you get hit in the elbow," said Mattingly.
Nonetheless, Uribe was hit only four times all last year and has never been hit more than five times in any of his nine Major League seasons, so something's going on.
Former Giants teammate Tim Lincecum has already drilled Uribe twice, although both came in tight game situations that would make intent dubious.
"They just don't want him to get [his arms] extended," said Mattingly. "He likes the ball over the plate. I don't know how to draw conclusions for that yet."
Whatever it is, it seems to be working. Uribe is batting .147 with no homers and only two RBIs.
Gibbons still adjusting to new contacts
SAN FRANCISCO -- Jay Gibbons continues to have vision problems on his rehab assignment at Triple-A Albuquerque, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Wednesday.
Gibbons was not in the starting lineup for the Isotopes on Wednesday night. He's been trying to acclimate to a second set of contact lenses after a failed laser eye surgery over the winter.
"It's still in and out," said Mattingly. "One day it's good, the next day it's something. It's back and forth, not 100 percent. He's still making adjustments."
Also at Albuquerque, right-hander Carlos Monasterios, who spent all last season in the Major Leagues after being taken in the Rule 5 Draft, has been put on the disabled list with a sore elbow after making one start.
And reliever Oscar Villarreal, a non-roster invitee to Major League camp who did not make the Dodgers' 25-man roster, has been loaned to the Mexican League.
Meanwhile, Vicente Padilla continues his rebound after a minor setback in his recovery from elbow nerve surgery and is expected to resuming throwing off a mound Thursday or Friday. He still could return to the Dodgers bullpen by the end of the month.
Injuries mounting at Triple-A Albuquerque
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Dodgers have already had seven players on the disabled list, and things might be even worse at their Triple-A affiliate in Albuquerque.
Just Wednesday night in a 10-7 win, infielder Juan Castro strained his left oblique while batting and had to leave the game. Justin Sellers was hit by a pitch on the right hand and had to leave the game. Catcher JD Closser, who was playing third base, was hit in the eye with a grounder and had to leave the game.
So Jerry Sands, who homered in four consecutive games, was moved to third base and pitcher Tim Redding was forced to play right field because there was nobody left on the bench since Russ Mitchell, hit by a pitch Tuesday night, is unavailable until Friday.
Earlier in the week, pitcher Carlos Monasterios was placed on the Albuquerque disabled list with a sore elbow.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.