Notes: Thumb injury from WBC sidelines Hanley Ramirez

Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez could be sidelined for more than two months or maybe just two weeks because of an injured left thumb.

‘‘They’ve painted both pictures, and it’s a pretty big window,’’ Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Wednesday. ‘‘We’re guessing.’’

Ramirez was hurt diving for a ball while playing third base Tuesday in the championship game of the World Baseball Classic. He helped the Dominican Republic beat Puerto Rico, 3-0.


Ramirez was expected to have an MRI when he returned to the Dodgers’ camp in Surprise, Ariz., Wednesday night. Mattingly said a mild sprain would likely leave the All-Star infielder out for a couple of weeks, but a major injury would make it much longer.

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‘‘Until the MRI, we’re guessing. We’re concerned enough to get an MRI. He’s coming out of a game, a pretty big game — guys don’t want to come out of those.’’

Miguel Tejada replaced Ramirez in the title game.

Luis Cruz, who was projected to play third base, started at shortstop in Wednesday’s 7-2 loss to the Royals. Mattingly said Cruz would be the first choice at shortstop with Ramirez sidelined. That would open up third base for Juan Uribe, Jerry Hairston, or former Red Sox infielder NickPunto.

The Dodgers got some good news with Zack Greinke throwing four innings in a minor league game without trouble in his right elbow. Greinke, signed to a $147 million, six-year contract in the offseason, had been shut down for much of March.

Pirates get McDonald


The Diamondbacks traded shortstop John McDonald to the Pirates for a player to be named or cash. The trade came two days after Pittsburgh backup shortstop Chase d’Arnaud had surgery for a torn ligament in his left thumb. He is expected to be sidelined 6-8 weeks. McDonald, 38, gives the Pirates an experienced reserve for regular shortstop Clint Barmes. He can also play second and third base, and made only one error in 210 chances last season . . . The Nationals acquired minor league lefthander Ian Krol from the Athletics, completing the three-way trade that sent outfielder Michael Morse to Seattle in January. The A’s acquired catcher John Jaso in the deal and sent righthanders A.J. Cole, Blake Treinen, and a player to be named to Washington.

Orioles explode

Nolan Reimold hit two of the Orioles’ five solo home runs in a 6-5 win over the Blue Jays in Sarasota, Fla. J.J. Hardy and Reimold hit back-to-back home runs in the second inning. Nate McLouth and Chris Davis also connected for Baltimore. Zach Britton, in competition for the Orioles’ No. 5 starting job, allowed five runs and seven hits in 1 innings. Emilio Bonifacio, who had three hits, had a two-run homer off Britton . . . Freddie Freeman and Andrelton Simmons each hit two homers as Braves routed the Pirates, 18-9, in Kissimmee, Fla. Freeman went 4 for 4 with four RBIs . . . Bryce Harper had two hits and drove in four runs as the Nationals beat the Marlins, 7-5, in Jupiter, Fla. Harper raised his spring batting average to .400 (20-for-50) with 12 RBIs . . . Houston righthander Bud Norris was given the Opening Day assignment and will throw the first pitch of the 2013 major-league season when the Astros host the Texas on March 31, marking Houston’s inaugural game in the American League.