Dodgers 5, Cubs 4

With Hanley Ramirez out for two months after having thumb

surgery, the Los Angeles Dodgers need a plan at shortstop.

They started by taking a look at Nick Punto.

Punto played shortstop and went hitless in three at-bats

Thursday in the Dodgers’ 5-4 victory over a Chicago Cubs split


”It’s my natural position,” said Punto, who was obtained on

Aug. 25 from the Boston Red Sox in a multiplayer deal. ”It comes

back pretty quick. I would say that at this point in my career,

I’ve played all the positions. But for a lot of us who have, it

began at short.”

Ramirez was injured in the final of the World Baseball Classic

while playing for the Dominican Republic on Tuesday night. Luis

Cruz, Dee Gordon, Juan Uribe and Jerry Hairston Jr. are also under


Manager Don Mattingly remained uncertain about the decision. But

he said he might move Cruz to shortstop from third base, where he

has been all spring. Cruz played shortstop the first three weeks

after the Dodgers obtained Ramirez from the Miami Marlins last

season in late July.

”What calmed us down last year was when Luis went to short,”

Mattingly said. ”That gives me multiple options at third.”

Alex Castellanos hit his fourth spring homer, a three-run drive

against Scott Feldman, who was making his third appearance in

spring since leaving Texas and signing with the Cubs. Feldman

allowed four runs and seven hits and struck out five in five


”I feel pretty good with three of my four pitches,” said

Feldman, who is scheduled to pitch the fourth game of the regular

season on April 6 in Atlanta. ”My changeup is one that I haven’t

thrown enough this spring. The ones I have thrown they really

aren’t game-ready.”

Starlin Castro homered off Dodgers starter Stephen Fife in the

third inning. Fife gave up seven hits and struck out five in his

fourth appearance this spring.

”Stephen has been great,” Mattingly said. ”He has come so far

from last spring to this spring. He’s back to confidently throwing

the ball. He was at 96 mph there once and 95 a couple of


The games was a charity event for the foundation named for

9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green, who was killed Jan. 8, 2011, in

a Tucson shooting that critically wounded former Arizona

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Taylor-Green’s father is Los Angeles Dodgers scout John Green

and her grandfather is former big league manager Dallas Green.

”We used to sing the national anthem together,” John Green

said. ”Everywhere I go now to scout a game and I hear the anthem,

that’s what I think: I think of my little girl.”

NOTES: Dee Gordon didn’t make the trip. He stayed in Phoenix

with a mild ankle sprain. He hasn’t played since Monday. . Clayton

Kershaw, the Dodgers’ opening day starter, is scheduled to start

Friday against the Cincinnati Reds.