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05/24/09 3:30 AM ET

Ethier to miss Freeway Series finale

LA Dodgers (30-14) vs. LA Angels (22-20), 1:10 p.m. PT

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers manager Joe Torre was already planning to give shortstop Rafael Furcal and catcher Russell Martin Sunday off, but late Saturday night he added Andre Ethier to the list of likely observers for the Freeway Series finale against the Angels.

Ethier aggravated a split big toenail on his right foot when he took a direct hit from a John Lackey pitch in the fifth inning on Saturday night. Ethier -- who led off the second inning with a double and was doubled home by Russell Martin for the Dodgers' first run -- stayed in the game two more innings before finally shutting it down in pain.

"I was already missing half the nail," said Ethier. "It's been a problem all year. Since Spring Training, half the nail's been dead and now the whole thing is pretty much dead. It was throbbing."

The timing isn't great. Ethier, in the last two games, finally seemed to be coming around after a 2 1/2-week slump that saw his batting average fall from .327 to .250.

On Friday night, he had two hits taken away with difficult defensive plays, while also walking twice.

"I thought those two walks when they didn't want to walk him were real good at-bats," said Torre. "I hope he's showing signs of getting his comfort back."

On Saturday night, he snapped an 0-for-13 homestand with a second-inning double, a third-inning single, was hit by the pitch in the fifth and lined out sharply to left field in the seventh before yielding to rookie Jamie Hoffmann in the eighth inning.

Hoffmann came up in the ninth with one-out, a runner on third base and a chance to be a quick hero, but plate umpire Chuck Meriwether called him out on a third strike that Hoffmann thought was low.

Hoffman is the only extra outfielder on the active roster, so he's most likely to get his first Major League start if Ethier is rested. Juan Castro and Brad Ausmus will probably start in place of Furcal and Martin.

Pitching matchup
LAD: RHP Chad Billingsley (6-1, 2.51 ERA)
Billingsley pitched a pair of games in his last start against the Mets. He came unglued in the early innings, needing 77 pitches to get through three innings with four walks. But he regrouped emotionally, found his mechanics physically and needed only 28 pitches for the next three innings. He was the first National League pitcher with six victories and each of his nine starts have been quality starts.

LAA: RHP Matt Palmer (5-0, 4.26 ERA)
Palmer wasn't particularly sharp in his last outing, giving up five runs on seven hits in five innings against the Mariners in Seattle, but he still did enough to get the win, making him 5-0 for the season after five starts, matching Jered Weaver (won his first seven starts in 2006) and Bo Belinsky (1962), who also won their first five starts as Angels rookies. Palmer struck out two and walked three.

Orlando Hudson went 1-for-5 and extending his career-best hitting streak to 13 games on Saturday. ... The Los Angeles Dodgers signed Korean right-handed pitcher Ji-Mo Lee, 22, to a Minor League contract. He was drafted by the Lotte Giants in 2005 and spent the next two years fulfilling his military duty. Lee came back to play for the Giants in 2008 but was released in November. The Dodgers also signed former Lotte Giants pitcher Hyang-nam Choi, 38, to a Triple-A contract earlier this week. ... The Dodgers are converting two sections of the left field Reserved Level at Dodger Stadium into "Bleacher Beach," where an in-game beach party will include unlimited fresh grilled beach fare, soft drinks, plus gifts, music and decor. Groups of 20 or more can purchase at the special price of $35 per person, while individuals can purchase in advance for $45 or on the day of game for $50.

 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• KABC 790, KHJ 930 (Español)

Up next
• Monday: Dodgers (Eric Stults, 4-1, 3.82) at Rockies (Jorge De La Rosa, 0-4, 4.27), 12:10 p.m. PT
• Tuesday: Dodgers (Eric Milton, 0-0, 4.50) at Rockies (Aaron Cook, 3-1, 4.68), 5:40 p.m. PT
• Wednesday: Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw, 2-3, 4.32) at Rockies (TBD), 12:10 p.m. PT

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.