Furcal, Blake exchange places on DL

The Los Angeles Dodgers activated two-time All-Star shortstop

Rafael Furcal from the disabled list before Sunday night’s game

against the Angels and placed third baseman Casey Blake on the

15-day DL for the third time this season because of a neck


Blake played in 28 games after coming off the DL on May 27, and

batted .193 during that stretch. Overall this season, he is hitting

.243 with four homers and 18 RBIs in 44 games. The 13-year veteran

also missed 28 games because of a staph infection in his left

elbow, which required surgery, and began the season on the DL

because of a back injury.

”I saw Casey’s face after his last at-bat last night and

decided it was time,” manager Don Mattingly said. ”The dives from

the other day jarred him a little, too. It sounds like we’ll go

with a cortisone shot again and rest, which has helped him the


Furcal, who has played more games at shortstop for the Dodgers’

than anyone except Bill Russell and Maury Wills, started only 17 of

the team’s 85 games and was 14 for 66 (.212) with a homer and five

RBIs. The 12-year veteran had been sidelined since June 2 because

of a left oblique strain on his left side and missed 27 games.

Furcal also sat out 37 games between April 12 and May 21 because

of a broken left thumb. The team was a combined 26-38 during his

two stints on the DL.

The news about Blake enabled rookie Dee Gordon to remain on the

25-man roster. The speedy shortstop entered Sunday 19 for 82 (.232)

with eight stolen bases in 22 games. There was some speculation

recently about the possibility of Gordon remaining at shortstop and

Furcal shifting to second base. But Furcal was back at short and

batting second against Ervin Santana.

”I know everybody’s excited about Dee, but over the last three

years the Dodgers go as Furcal’s gone,” Mattingly said. ”Dee will

get better and is a big part of the organization.”