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Casey Blake nears rehab assignment; struggling Juan Uribe sits

May 15, 2011 | 12:51 pm

Lhv3b6nc And then coming over the hill, bugler sounding the charge, storming to the rescue, it’s Rafael Furcal and Casey Blake.

Anyway, that’s the hope. When you’re 13th in runs scored, you take your cavalry where you can find it.

Furcal started his rehab Saturday from a broken left thumb by going 2 for 3 with three RBI batting for triple-A Albuquerque. Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said the plan is for the shortstop to get 25 to 30 minor-league at-bats before joining the Dodgers.

Meanwhile, Blake took grounders and regular batting practice for the second consecutive day on Sunday. Mattingly said he is near a rehab assignment after suffering an elbow infection that required surgery.

"Casey is close," Mattingly said. "We’re hoping to get him out soon. He went the full Monty (Saturday). He did everything. We’ll give him a couple more days and then we’ll see.

"We’d be happy if he could if he could play (in a rehab start) when we go out on the road."

The Dodgers start a six-game road trip Friday when they open inter-league play at the Chicago White Sox.

Blake missed the first week of the season with a back injury but was hitting well once he returned (.321).

Juan Uribe moved from second to third to fill Blake’s spot in the roster. Uribe, however, has been struggling at the plate and was benched Sunday. He’s hitless in his last 10 at-bats and is batting just .200.

"Juan just needed a day," Mattingly said. "He’s scuffling."

Mattingly started Juan Castro at third Sunday, his first start since being called up Friday.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake (23) talks with fans prior to the game against the San Diego Padres at Camelback Ranch on March 10, 2011. Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel / US Presswire