9/5/2013 2:10 A.M. ET
Out of starting lineup, Puig pinch-hits in eighth
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
DENVER -- Dodgers outfielders Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp moved closer to their returns on Wednesday.
Puig, who came out of Monday night's game with discomfort behind his right knee, took batting practice before Wednesday's game against the Rockies and manager Don Mattingly said he would again be available to pinch-hit.
It turned out Puig was available to pinch-hit. Mattingly sent the rookie to the plate representing the go-ahead run with two outs in the eighth inning of the Dodgers' 7-5 loss. After getting ahead in the count 3-1, Puig struck out on a Manuel Corpas inside fastball to end a Los Angeles rally.
"He feels better today," Mattingly said. "I really want to wait. I want to be cautious. One more day gives him two [with Thursday's day off]. He was available last night to pinch-hit and again tonight. It's more on the cautious side today. It's the same thing he had in Miami."
Mattingly wouldn't speculate on whether Puig would return to the lineup by Friday night in Cincinnati.
Kemp, meanwhile, moved his hitting rehab to the club's Arizona complex, where he played in a simulated game. According to Mattingly, Kemp went 5-for-9 with four walks and did drills in the outfield.
Kemp has been on an injury rehab for a sprained ankle, which is not healed, but he continues to work on his swing and confidence.
Ryu scratched Friday with lingering back stiffness
DENVER -- Hyun-Jin Ryu has been scratched from his Friday night start in Cincinnati with a stiff back and replaced by Chris Capuano, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly confirmed on Wednesday.
"I'm not really concerned, but we're being a little cautious," Mattingly said of Ryu, who felt tightness when he left his last start Friday night against the Padres after throwing six scoreless innings. "He feels it when he gets to a certain point twisting."
Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw will still start Saturday and Sunday, with Ricky Nolasco Monday night against the D-backs. Mattingly said the soonest Ryu would return to the six-man rotation would be Tuesday night.
Ryu said he did not suffer the injury on an awkward slide home while scoring Friday night and he downplayed its severity.
"It could have been from anything," Mattingly said. "He felt it when he came out and the day after his start. Yesterday, he threw and we didn't like the answers we were getting."
Ryu is 13-5 with a 3.02 ERA in his first Major League season and a solid contender for the National League Rookie of the Year Award.
Dodgers launching Magic Johnson bobblehead hunt
DENVER -- The Dodgers on Thursday will launch a #MeetMagic Bobblehead Hunt to give fans the opportunity to attend the sold-out Magic Johnson Bobblehead Night, presented by Keck Medical Center of USC, on Thursday, Sept. 12 against the Giants.
The hunt runs through Sept. 11 and will take place at several iconic Los Angeles area locations. The Dodgers' official Twitter account, @Dodgers, will tweet a clue at 2 p.m. PT each day of the contest of the location of an autographed Magic Johnson bobblehead. The first follower of @Dodgers to arrive at the designated location and correctly answer a trivia question will win a "Magic Ticket" good for two suite tickets for the Sept. 12 game. Winners will get the opportunity to meet Johnson.
"I really enjoy interacting with Dodger fans on my own Twitter handle, and am so excited about this Dodger social media contest that allows fans a chance to get to a sold-out game, especially on my bobblehead night," said Johnson, one of the club's owners. "I look forward to meeting the winners of the 'Meet Magic' scavenger hunt and wish everyone participating in this contest the best of luck."
M. Ellis and wife helping make baseball safer
DENVER -- Dodgers infielder Mark Ellis' wife, Sarah, a mother of three, read about the tragic death of an 8-year-old Little Leaguer this summer and she's doing what she can to help.
Dylan Williams was practicing for the Union City, Ind., All-Star Game when he was fatally injured. On Saturday at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Sarah and Mark will host Williams' teammates and participate in a ceremony before the Dodgers-Reds game to raise awareness for on-field safety and support the Dylan Williams Forever an All-Star Foundation.
Playing first base, Williams was hit on the right side of his neck by a throw, went down immediately, was rushed to a hospital and died. His family donated his organs to keep other children alive.
"We have a daughter named Dylan and with the baseball part of it, my wife was just struck by it," Ellis said. "She reached out to the town to see what we could do to help."
Ellis and the Dodgers, along with Rawlings and the Reds, will hold a pregame ceremony to raise awareness for the foundation and for proper safety preparedness at parks and ball fields.
"Union City is a very small town, maybe 5,000 total, and this has really struck them hard," Mark Ellis said. "We want to try to make a good day out of this and to raise awareness about safety in general."
Ellis and his wife are providing tickets to the game and transportation to Dylan's teammates and family. Each teammate will be presented with a Rawlings helmet to be worn on the field at all times, as Mark said he was required to do while playing American Legion youth baseball. Rawlings will donate 300 helmets for the entire league.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.