6/18/2014 3:11 A.M. ET
Hanley leads way as Dodgers loosen up
By Michael Lananna / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Don Mattingly looked an awful lot like Hanley Ramirez on Tuesday.
That's because Ramirez took Mattingly's customary spot in the dugout before the game, joking with reporters and warming them up before Mattingly's daily pregame conference. At one point, Ramirez yelled toward outfielder Yasiel Puig, "Puig! You're lucky I'm not the manager."
On a team that has had a peppier vibe lately -- from dugout dances to clubhouse jam sessions -- Ramirez has been at the forefront of that fun atmosphere.
"About time, huh?" Ramirez said. "I thought I was the only one. It's what we need. We need to start having fun."
Two weeks ago, when the Dodgers dropped a series to the White Sox and finished their homestand 4-6, Mattingly said that there was a lack of team focus and they weren't pulling in the same direction.
Ramirez said those words helped inspire a culture shift for the Dodgers, who entered Tuesday night's matchup with the Rockies 3-1 on the current homestand. He echoed his manager's sentiments on the importance of team play.
"I was looking at some of the players from the Giants, and how many players are hitting .300?" Ramirez said of the first-place club with only one regular (Angel Pagan) hitting over .300. "You win as a team. That's what you need. If you play together and pull for each other, it doesn't matter if you underperform."
Mattingly said he didn't think he was solely responsible for the Dodgers' improved play.
"You'd like to think your words have something to do with it, but I really don't," he said. "We're swinging the bats good; we're pitching good; and we've been playing pretty good defense."
Hanley day to day with injured right ring finger
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez exited Tuesday night's 4-2 win over the Rockies in the top of the seventh inning with a contusion on his right ring finger.
Ramirez was struck on his bare hand by hard one-hopper off the bat of the Rockies' Corey Dickerson, who was credited with an RBI double after the ball deflected into center field. Ramirez was attended to by head trainer Stan Conte while manager Don Mattingly looked on before being taken out. X-rays taken in the clubhouse were negative.
"Finger OK, thank God," Ramirez tweeted after the game. "Thanks for the worry and support. Love you, fans."
Ramirez hit his 11th home run in the third inning, a two-run shot to right field. He had recently returned to the starting lineup after an irritated right shoulder sidelined him in Cincinnati.
Mattingly said the ball hit the tip of Ramirez's ring finger.
"The fact that he didn't break it is of course good news," Mattingly said. "How long? A couple of days. I don't know. We'll just wait till we see tomorrow how it is.
"We're playing better, and you don't want to see one of your middle guys who's swinging good -- you don't want anything happen to anybody right now."
Carlos Triunfel replaced Ramirez at short and hit a one-out homer in the bottom of the inning, his first big league home run.
Dodgers sign first-round pick Holmes
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers have signed Grant Holmes, their first-round pick in this year's First-Year Player Draft, for a $2.5 million bonus.
The Dodgers had $1,980,500 designated for their first-round pick.
Holmes, 18, a right-handed pitcher drafted out of Conway (S.C.) High School, visited Dodger Stadium on Monday and said he was a physical away from signing. The No. 22 pick overall, Holmes went 4-1 with a 0.35 ERA, striking out 82 batters in 40 innings in his senior season, winning Gatorade's South Carolina Player of the Year.
Holmes signed at Camelback Ranch in Arizona.
Kings hoist Stanley Cup at Dodger Stadium
LOS ANGELES -- Don Mattingly could be the only one who knows how to shut down the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.
"They like the ball down, out over [the plate]," the Dodgers manager joked Tuesday. "You gotta pitch them up and in. Cutters in would be good pitches to them."
Mattingly was on the field at Dodger Stadium with the Kings on Tuesday, watching them take batting practice hours before the Dodgers took on the Rockies. A few Kings went out to field grounders and shag fly balls, while others gathered around the cage at home plate, chatting with Mattingly and a couple of Dodgers while waiting for their turn in the box.
"I wasn't too impressed with my showing," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said after his turn. "But I hit a few all right."
None of the Kings went deep, but there was a general consensus as to who their cleanup hitter would be.
"It looks like it's Jeff Carter so far," Doughty said of the club's forward. "He hit one off the top of the wall. No one else even came close to that."
After a parade and rally in downtown Los Angeles and Staples Center on Monday, the Kings brought Lord Stanley's Cup with them to Dodger Stadium for a pregame celebration. It's the second time they've earned the National Hockey League's most prestigious trophy in three years.
Dodgers fans haven't been shy about expressing their love for the Kings, erupting in the sixth inning of Friday's game once defenseman Alec Martinez scored the title-winning goal.
"I actually heard about it," Kings forward Jarret Stoll said of the reaction at Chavez Ravine. "It's cool, just knowing how many fans are out there cheering for us and rooting for us and behind us. It's pretty special to feel that support."
The Kings' visit to Dodger Stadium on Tuesday was especially exciting for Dodgers reserve Jamie Romak, who was born in London, Ontario. Romak was among a few players gathered around the batting cage, along with catcher Drew Butera, pitcher Clayton Kershaw and Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau -- who also hails from Canada.
Romak said he felt at home talking hockey with the Kings and conversing with a few fellow Canadians.
"Jeff Carter, I grew up with," Romak said. "We played baseball and hockey together as kids for five, six years. So I knew him really well. I haven't seen him in a long time. Drew Doughty is from where I'm from. He knows my sister, and I just met him today for the first time.
"Drew and Jeff have now won two cups in L.A., and they were each on the last two Olympic teams that won gold medals, too, so it's really an unbelievable accomplishment. It's really cool."
While Mattingly once had a peak at the cup in New York when the Rangers won it, Romak has never had the chance to see it.
"They've brought it back to where I live before. Each guy gets a week with the cup at home, but with conflicting seasons, I've never been home for it," Romak said. "It'll be cool to see it today."
As soon as the Kings brought the cup onto the field before the game, a "Go Kings, go!" chant brewed in the stands.
"It's been great everywhere we go, where we live, the parade and the rally and all of that stuff," Stoll said. "Yesterday was very special. Two years ago was special. This year was special. The way we did it this year was very, very difficult. Everybody's exhausted and spent and looking forward to some rest.
"You got to celebrate it. You got to enjoy it and have fun with it."
Crawford has setback in rehab
LOS ANGELES -- Injured left fielder Carl Crawford has returned to Los Angeles after experiencing a setback at the Dodgers' training facility in Arizona.
"He still hasn't been able to hit or run, so that treatment will continue to get him back to that point," said manager Don Mattingly, who added that Crawford underwent an MRI on his sprained right ankle upon his return.
The Dodgers do have two third basemen on the mend, however. Mattingly said Justin Turner, who again didn't start Tuesday with an injured calf, would likely be available to play in the San Diego series, which begins Friday.
As for Juan Uribe, Mattingly said he's still hopeful he'll be able to play in rehab games this week.
"He's still doing fine, moving forward," Mattingly said. "I feel pretty good about that at this point."
Mattingly said Yasiel Puig, who tweaked his hip sliding into third base Monday, came out of that game fine. He started in right field Tuesday.
Michael Lananna is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.