ST. LOUIS -- There's an excessive heat warning here from the National Weather Service, and the Dodgers called their own heat emergency before Monday night's opener of a four-game series against the Cardinals.
Manager Don Mattingly, saying he's taking a page out of the Texas Rangers' playbook, split his squad in half for batting practice. So while one half was on the field in 103-degree heat, the other half was still in the clubhouse instead of shagging balls in the outfield or taking infield grounders.
"I saw Texas do this, using a rotation, and it makes sense," Mattingly said. "We're looking at heat the next four days and it's something we're not really used to. It'll wear you out, you worry about cramping and stuff. We want them out here long enough to get used to the park and the sightlines, but with less standing around."
Mattingly said another Texas tactic the Dodgers planned to try was administering pregame IVs on request to prevent dehydration.
"I think eight to 10 of their guys do it, and we'll probably do a little bit of it," he said. "You make adjustments."
Several years ago on a day just like this, the Dodgers not only held their normal batting practice but participated in a mandatory early batting practice at 2 p.m. Cardinals players were stunned to see their opponents spending extra time in the sapping heat.
Day after first victory, Wall returns to Triple-A
ST. LOUIS -- Josh Wall knew it was coming and took it as well as anyone can take a demotion when he was sent down to Triple-A Albuquerque on Monday to make room for Chad Billingsley's activation off the disabled list.
"I'm definitely glad I had a chance to throw before leaving," said Wall, who qualified as the winning pitcher in his Major League debut Sunday and was back in the Minor Leagues by Monday. "They just told me to go down and continue working on what I've been working on."
Something Wall said he's been working on this year is holding on runners, which paid off after he allowed David Wright's one-out single in the 11th inning. Wall kept Wright close to first base with a pair of pickoff throws and A.J. Ellis was able to throw out Wright trying to steal second base on the next pitch.
"I've been working on holding runners and being quicker to the plate to give the catcher a chance," Wall said. "That made a huge difference right there."
Wall was called up when Billingsley was placed on the disabled list with a sore elbow, and manager Don Mattingly hadn't found a spot to use him.
"I was telling Trey [Hillman, bench coach] during the game, he's going to get his first win and hit the road tomorrow, because I knew what move we'd make," Mattingly said.
Dodgers nearly called on Loney to pitch in pinch
ST. LOUIS -- If Sunday's marathon against the Mets had remained tied one more inning, James Loney would have made his Major League pitching debut, manager Don Mattingly said Monday.
"I don't think he was thinking that far ahead, but it was definitely in my head," said Mattingly, who used 20 of his 25-man roster in the 12-inning 8-3 win, including reigning National League Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw for pinch-bunting duties. "He would have been the pitcher. He would have got his shot."
Loney, who also pitched in high school, has frequently lobbied to be allowed to pitch.
Mattingly was in a jam, he said, because he absolutely was not going to use closer Kenley Jansen, would have used Ronald Belisario only to save a lead and was reluctant to pitch Josh Lindblom, although he ultimately pitched the bottom of the 12th inning after the Dodgers scored five runs in the top of the 12th.
Mattingly used every position player on his bench. He said he would have played starting pitcher Chris Capuano in the outfield and moved Andre Ethier to first base if Loney had moved to the mound or anybody had gotten hurt. He already had called Jansen, a former catcher, in from the bullpen for a possible pinch-hitting appearance after the 11th inning.
Matt Treanor made all of the contingencies unnecessary with a bases-loaded, two-run, two-out single that triggered the winning rally, which Loney started with a single.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.