Dodgers place in-form Ethier on disabled list

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - In-form right fielder Andre Ethier was put on the 15-day disabled list by the Los Angeles Dodgers Tuesday, three days after he broke his right little finger in batting practice.

The 28-year-old, who leads the majors this season with a .392 batting average and 38 RBIs, had his finger placed in a splint Sunday amid hopes he would still be able to swing a bat.

However, those hopes were abandoned by the Dodgers on Tuesday when they recalled Xavier Paul from Triple-A Albuquerque and put him in the starting line-up for the game against the Houston Astros.

"He's disappointed, it's one of those freak things, too," Dodgers manager Joe Torre told the team's website (http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com) of Ethier's injury. "It's not like he got hit by a pitch or something.

"His finger sort of got stuck and he continued to swing, which is not unusual for him where he pinches it a little bit. If it's irritating to the point of keeping you from finishing swings, it does us no good."

Ethier, who is tied for the lead in the majors with 11 home runs, has never previously been on the disabled list.

(Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Rex Gowar)