5/19/2013 8:12 P.M. ET
Cruz available for finale despite bone spurs in elbow
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
ATLANTA -- Dodgers infielder Luis Cruz said he was available to play Sunday after being unavailable Saturday night because of a bone spur flare-up in his right elbow.
Cruz said he has three spurs in his throwing elbow, and they occasionally pinch a nerve.
"Since I was 11, I can't straighten my arm, and once in a while, this happens, and I just have to let it rest," said Cruz. "My brother has it and my father has it. But it's good today. I took swings, it's fine."
Manager Don Mattingly assured reporters that Cruz's injury had nothing to do with the need to clear a roster spot for the activation of infielder Mark Ellis.
"This is real," Mattingly insisted, moments before the club optioned catcher Tim Federowicz back to Triple-A Albuquerque to make room for Ellis.
X-rays negative after Van Slyke fouls pitches off leg
ATLANTA -- X-rays were negative on the lower left leg of Dodgers outfielder Scott Van Slyke, who exited Sunday's 5-2 loss against the Braves after he fouled consecutive pitches off his leg in a seventh-inning at-bat.
Van Slyke said there was no fracture, although it was "pretty sore" having fouled the pitches "an inch apart on the same ligament."
He said he'll be able to return to action immediately, as long as he can tolerate the discomfort.
"I should be good," he said.
Van Slyke, who homered twice Friday night, went 0-for-3 with a strikeout in the finale.
Dodgers activate infielder Ellis from disabled list
ATLANTA -- The Dodgers activated second baseman Mark Ellis off the disabled list Sunday and optioned catcher Tim Federowicz to Triple-A Albuquerque.
Ellis returned quicker than expected from a right quad strained on April 26. He was cleared to return after a seven-inning rehab appearance Saturday night with Double-A Chattanooga.
Ellis, batting .342, was immediately put in the starting lineup for Sunday's finale against the Braves, hitting second and playing second base. He went 0-for-4 in the 5-2 loss, though he moved a runner over in the first, setting up Adrian Gonzalez's RBI single.
"I'm done rehabbing," Ellis said upon his return to the Dodgers' clubhouse. "I was fine at the plate yesterday."
Ellis went 0-for-3 with a walk, two strikeouts and a run scored Saturday night after going 0-for-1 in a Friday rehab start.
Manager Don Mattingly said he was surprised to hear that Ellis was ready, but he wasn't complaining.
"Everybody tells me he's good to go and OK to play," said Mattingly.
With Federowicz optioned, veteran Ramon Hernandez is again the backup to starting catcher A.J. Ellis.
Gordon's baserunning gaffe frustrates Mattingly
ATLANTA -- Dee Gordon heard about it from Don Mattingly Saturday night. He met with baserunning coach Davey Lopes in a meeting Sunday morning. He even heard about it from father and former All-Star closer Flash Gordon.
"Don't steal third," Dee Gordon repeated, "unless you know you'll be safe. I felt it was 100 percent, but I got thrown out."
Gordon was thrown out in the third inning Saturday night trying to steal third base with two out and Matt Kemp up in a game the Dodgers lost, 3-1. Mattingly was still annoyed Sunday morning.
"The first year he was here, you want to be patient with him and you're always teaching, but yesterday, we've been there before, and I told him when he got to the dugout that you can't run there unless you're 100 percent," Mattingly said.
"You're in scoring position already. Matt Kemp's at the plate. Come on, Dee, we've been there. There's no real upside to stealing the base. Only an infield hit or a passed ball. It doesn't make any sense to me. It's just a mistake you really can't make. I don't want to come down on Dee. He's trying. But it's just not the right time to steal a base. It's a useless base."
Jansen's pitch selection with Gattis baffles Mattingly
ATLANTA -- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was still shaking his head in dismay Sunday over reliever Kenley Jansen's decision to challenge Braves pinch-hitter Evan Gattis, who slugged a two-run homer Saturday night on an inside cutter.
The plan of attack against Gattis was not to throw inside, but that's what Jansen did in an eight-pitch at-bat that turned the game around and was followed on the next pitch by an Andrelton Simmons home run, dropping the Dodgers, 3-1.
"You want him to pitch to his conviction, but he pitched right into [Gattis'] strength," Mattingly said. "[Catcher Tim Federowicz] called a slider, he didn't want to throw it. He called for a fastball away, he wanted to come inside. For me, [Federowicz] has to go out and make sure. If he says, 'I can get this guy inside,' that's his conviction.
"But make him beat you in the big part of the park. If you go away, and he goes to center field or right-center, it's easier to take than going to the guy's strength. He gave up a home run and basically gave up the game."
Mattingly said pitchers are given scouting reports before series start, pitch suggestions can be sent from the dugout and catchers can go out to the mound.
"But you can't go to the mound and say, 'Kenley, throw what he says,'" Mattingly said. "The pitcher has the game in his hands."
Jansen explained that Gattis was crowding the plate and he wanted to move him back.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.