St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Hanley Ramirez was scratched from the Los Angeles Dodgers' lineup prior to the start of the team's Game 2 matchup with the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series.
Ramirez was hit in the ribs by a pitch from Cardinals Game 1 starter Joe Kelly in the first inning on Friday. The slugging shortstop remained in the game for the entirety of the Dodgers' 3-2, 13-inning loss, but felt discomfort in his rib cage area on Saturday and was removed about 45 minutes prior to game time.
Nick Punto will fill in at shortstop for Ramirez, the Dodgers' hottest hitter during this postseason. The 29-year-old went 8-for-16 with a home run, six RBI and four runs scored over the four games of Los Angeles' victory over Atlanta in the NLDS. Six of those hits went for extra bases, including four doubles and a triple.
Adrian Gonzalez moved up from the cleanup spot into Ramirez's No. 3 position in the batting order for Game 2, followed by rookie Yasiel Puig and Juan Uribe.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly also did not start center fielder Andre Ethier in Game 2. The two-time All-Star returned to the starting lineup in Game 1 after being limited to pinch-hitting duties over the past month by a sprained ankle, but went 1-for-5 with two strikeouts on Friday.
Mattingly told reporters that Ethier, who is still experiencing soreness in the ankle, would be available as a late-inning replacement or as a pinch- hitter.