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Xavier Paul's stop was brief, but he lays ground work for return trip in 6-5 victory over Rockies

May 7, 2010 | 11:06 pm

John Ely isn’t the only young player who has performed well and is headed back to the minors.

Outfielder Xavier Paul was optioned back to triple-A Albuquerque on Friday after the Dodgers' 6-5 victory over the Rockies as the Dodgers activated Manny Ramirez.

Paul led off the last two games for the Dodgers, both victories.

Paul went one-for-three Friday with a walk. He doubled and scored to lead off the fifth. Thursday night, he went two-for-four with two runs and an RBI.

Yet just when it looked as if Paul is starting to get comfortable at the plate, his ticket was being punched for Albuquerque.

"Once he gets a handle on himself, he has a chance," said Manager Joe Torre. "There’s just a certain attitude about the way he plays the game. His ability is starting to set in now. He’s pretty cool at the plate. He doesn’t really get overly excited."

Paul, 25, made a nice, running catch Thursday, but struggled on a couple of plays in left on Friday. He still has some rough edges to work off in the field.

"He’s doing a better job in the outfield," Torre said. "He’s a big leaguer; the thing now, is having an opportunity to have a place for him. You certainly don’t like young players on the bench and have them sort of not use their skills."

Paul hit .276 in nine games for the Dodgers since being called up to replace Ramirez. Like Ely, however, he figures to be back.

"He needs to play every day," Torre said.

-- Steve Dilbeck
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