8/2/2013 8:55 P.M. ET
Dodgers give Ramirez, Crawford day off
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- After giving Andre Ethier and A.J. Ellis the night off on Thursday, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly had Hanley Ramirez and Carl Crawford out of Friday's lineup.
"Just a day," said Mattingly. "Hanley's fine. The second day [after traveling] is the battle day."
Nick Punto started at shortstop for Ramirez and Scott Van Slyke in left field for Crawford. Punto drove in two runs and Van Slyke walked twice and had an RBI.
"Nick is much better against left-handers and Van Slyke gives Carl a day with a ton of righties coming," Mattingly said.
Mattingly used Mark Ellis in the leadoff spot for Crawford and had Yasiel Puig batting cleanup in place of Ramirez. Ellis doubled and scored before he was ejected in the fourth inning, and Puig reached base four times.
Fife to start Sunday, Greinke moved back a day
CHICAGO -- The Dodgers plan to use a sixth starter this rotation cycle and activate Stephen Fife from the disabled list to pitch on Sunday against the Cubs, pushing Zack Greinke to Monday night in St. Louis.
Greinke, who last pitched Tuesday night against the Yankees, didn't throw his between-starts bullpen session until Friday, which puts him on schedule to start Monday.
Fife, on the 15-day disabled list since July 7 with right shoulder bursitis, had been scheduled to make a rehab start for Triple-A Albuquerque.
The club hasn't yet announced the plan. Manager Don Mattingly was non-committal on Friday, saying Fife will pitch on Sunday for the Isotopes or the Dodgers, but he wouldn't elaborate.
By inserting Fife, the Dodgers will give their five-man rotation an extra day of rest. The juggling also shifts Greinke from facing the fourth-place Cubs to the second-place Cardinals.
It's unclear how the Dodgers will make room for Fife on the 25-man roster. Rookie right-hander Chris Withrow could be optioned, although he recently has been used in more important situations.
A more likely alternative is reliever Carlos Marmol, especially since the signing of Brian Wilson, another former All-Star closer. Marmol hasn't pitched in a week and wasn't sharp in his first two Dodgers appearances.
The former Cubs closer pitched for the first time as a visitor at Wrigley Field in Friday's 6-2 win over Chicago, working around a walk and a single for a scoreless ninth.
Also unclear is what will happen on the next rotation cycle -- whether Fife will remain in the rotation and displace Chris Capuano, or if Fife will be optioned back to Albuquerque.
Fife is 3-3 with a 2.76 ERA in eight starts for the Dodgers this season.
Capuano, Federowicz have good connection
CHICAGO -- Chris Capuano is scheduled to be the starting pitcher for the Dodgers on Saturday, which means Tim Federowicz will be the starting catcher.
Manager Don Mattingly said it was never his plan to have any pitcher linked to one catcher.
"But I can't be so hard headed to ignore the fact that they just click," Mattingly said. "I'm not afraid to have A.J. [Ellis] catch Cap, but there's a double reason. This helps keep A.J. strong and gives Fed regular experience. I can't tell you why Cap and Fed have worked so well together. They just do."
Capuano's ERA in nine outings with Federowicz catching is 3.06. In six with Ellis catching, it's 8.38.
"It helps me know I've got him and I can prepare for the opposing lineup," said Federowicz. "Today, I'll make sure I'm watching what [Cubs hitters] are trying to do with [Hyun-Jin] Ryu."
Capuano said he never requested the linkage, but the veteran lefty doesn't mind taking advantage of it.
"Really, it goes back to Spring Training of 2012," he said. "Fed caught my first couple of [bullpen sessions] and Spring Training appearances, and immediately I was comfortable with him. He caught my rehab start with Albuquerque this year.
"It's just a comfort level. It's hard to identify certain things. It's not like I was uncomfortable with A.J. I know the numbers are better with Fed, and that's why they started to pair us up. I didn't ask. I've never been superstitious about who I throw to. I never concern myself with that. My job is to make pitches."
Capuano said their collegiate rivalry has added to the friendship. Capuano was a Phi Beta Kappa at Duke, Federowicz a star at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
"We have good banter with the rivalry and a good relationship just developed," Capuano said. "I'm sure that's part of it."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.