7/5/2014 12:40 A.M. ET
Kemp given night off; Van Slyke in left field
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
DENVER -- Matt Kemp was out of the starting lineup on Friday night, snapping a streak of 35 consecutive starts in left field. He was replaced by Scott Van Slyke.
"Today is just a day off for Matt," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "I felt like he's been going really hard."
Kemp hasn't regained the power or speed from his near-miss MVP season of 2011, but since June 6 he's hitting .309, which coincides with the club's turnaround.
"I'm happy with Matt," said Mattingly. "His game, his energy … this is nothing more than a day off. I'm sure he wouldn't say he needed it, but it'll be good for him."
Meanwhile, Van Slyke has emerged as the club's fourth outfielder, starting mostly against left-handed pitching, and one of the more versatile players on the team.
"His value is that he plays all over and plays it well," said Mattingly, who has started Van Slyke at all three outfield positions and first base. "We trust Scott everywhere. If he got more at-bats against righties, I think he'd do OK, but that's not the situation he's in right now."
Crawford set for 'at least' five Triple-A rehab games
DENVER -- Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford will begin an injury rehab assignment Saturday for Triple-A Albuquerque, manager Don Mattingly said Friday.
Crawford has been on the disabled list since May 27 with a sprained left ankle. Mattingly said it hasn't been determined how long Crawford will play with Albuquerque.
"Five or six games, at least that," Mattingly said. "Through Detroit [Wednesday] for sure, then we'll see where everything is. It's been a while, over a month for Carl. But when Carl is ready, he'll be back."
Since Crawford has been out, Matt Kemp has been the everyday left fielder and the club has moved into first place.
Mattingly said Justin Turner, who is on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, is rehabbing at the club's Arizona facility and isn't ready for games yet.
Hanley OK after hit by pitch leads to early exit
DENVER -- Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez is "fine," manager Don Mattingly said after removing him for precautionary reasons because he was struck on the back of the left hand by a pitch from Rockies starter Jair Jurrjens.
No X-rays were taken and none are planned, the club announced.
"He could have stayed in," Mattingly said Friday night after the Dodgers' 9-0 victory over the Rockies. "I was going to give him a day off tomorrow, but now he'll play."
Ramirez initially stayed in the game, stole second base and scored on Scott Van Slyke's three-run homer.
But with an eight-run lead, Erisbel Arruebarrena took over for Ramirez at shortstop, as he did the night before in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Ramirez hasn't been on the disabled list this season, but he has been nursing injuries to his shoulder, calf and hand. He has started 72 of the Dodgers' 89 games.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.