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Billingsley to start against Giants

Times Staff Writer

Chad Billingsley will start for the Dodgers in their first game after the All-Star break.

Billingsley will pitch Friday in the opening game of a three-game series at San Francisco and will be followed in the rotation by Brad Penny on Saturday and Derek Lowe on Sunday. Mark Hendrickson is tentatively scheduled to start next in a July 16 home game against Philadelphia.

Because Randy Wolf isn’t eligible to be activated from the disabled list until July 19, someone will have to take his next turn in the rotation. That someone could be Eric Stults or Brett Tomko, Manager Grady Little said.

The Dodgers enter the All-Star break with 11 pitchers on the roster, as they optioned right-hander D.J. Houlton to triple-A Las Vegas to make room for infielder Ramon Martinez. But Little said the team would “definitely” be back at 12 “shortly,” though he wouldn’t specify when or how.

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The medical news that was divulged Sunday was positive for the ailing pitching staff.

Trainer Stan Conte said the blister on Penny’s index finger “looks excellent” -- so much so that it shouldn’t limit the right-hander’s participation in the All-Star game.

Conte was also optimistic about Wolf’s recovery, saying he could start throwing during the All-Star break. Conte said the cortisone shot Wolf received Thursday had its desired effect, eliminating most of the pain he felt in his left shoulder. Once Wolf is completely pain-free, he will be given an extra day of rest before he starts throwing.

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Matt Kemp and Tony Abreu are to receive daily treatments during the All-Star break at Dodger Stadium for strained muscles and are expected to be available Friday.

Kemp strained his right hamstring in the Dodgers’ 9-3 victory over the Florida Marlins Sunday. Abreu missed his second consecutive game because of a lower abdominal strain. Conte called the strains mild.

Kemp was hurt in the first inning while legging out an infield hit. “It was just tight,” he said.

Kemp remained in the game and advanced to second on a single by Martinez, but asked to be taken out upon returning to the dugout. “It didn’t loosen back up,” he said.

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Abreu was hurt Friday night when he charged down the third base line in the 10th inning to field a bunt by Hanley Ramirez that produced Florida’s winning run.

Abreu said he felt a sharp pain upon his arrival at Dodger Stadium on Saturday. Fearing he might have an appendicitis, he visited a hospital that night. Tests were negative.

“I feel much better,” Abreu said.

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Martinez was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list Sunday and started at second base to give Jeff Kent a rest. Martinez, who had been sidelined with back problems since June 4, was one for four and drove in two runs.

Martinez was called back from a rehabilitation assignment in Las Vegas because Abreu was unavailable. He was batting .357 through the first six games with the 51s.

Martinez said his back feels healed. “You’re always going to think about it, but I haven’t felt anything down there,” he said.

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Olmedo Saenz will get his wisdom teeth extracted this morning. He said he doesn’t expect to miss any time. ... Dodgers double-A prospect Chin-lung Hu was MVP of the All-Star Futures game in San Francisco, going two for two with a double and two RBIs in the World team’s 7-2 victory over the U.S. team. Class-A pitcher Clayton Kershaw pitched two-thirds of an inning and allowed one hit and two runs for the U.S. team.

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com


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