Loney quietly pacing Dodgers' offense
First baseman has four multi-hit outings in past six games
CINCINNATI -- Rafael Furcal got most of the attention Tuesday, and Clayton Kershaw stole the show Wednesday, but Dodgers first baseman James Loney continues to consistently produce.
In his past six games, Loney has had four multi-hit games, including four hits June 9 against St. Louis and four hits Tuesday at Cincinnati. During that span, Loney has eight RBIs and raised his average from .279 to .306
"He's one of those guys who, if there's a big run to be knocked in ... he stands in the batter's box and has ice water in his veins for me," manager Joe Torre said. "He's very reliable, and it doesn't really matter if it's a left-hander or a right-hander."
Torre drew comparisons between Loney and his former center fielder with the Yankees, Bernie Williams, saying they have similar personalities and leadership traits.
"When people go out there and they play day in and day out, they don't necessarily understand it, but they have the leadership qualities that people admire," Torre said.
Dodgers place Furcal on bereavement list
CINCINNATI -- Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal was placed on the bereavement list on Thursday because of an ailing family member.
Furcal received the news late Wednesday night and manager Joe Torre said Furcal left for the Dominican Republic at about 6 a.m. ET.
"He knows he takes as long as he needs," Torre said. "Hopefully we get him back soon and everything's OK. We'll just wait until he tells us."
Jamey Carroll took Furcal's place at shortstop and batted eighth for the series finale at Cincinnati on Thursday afternoon. With right-hander Bronson Arroyo starting for the Reds, Torre opted for second baseman Blake DeWitt, a left-handed hitter, at the top of the lineup.
"It's one of those things where you're around managing and you have things that come in the middle of the night," Torre said. "That was pretty much one of them, so hopefully he gets back to us at some point and he makes it to where he has to."
The Dodgers called up infielder Chin-lung Hu from Triple-A Albuquerque to fill Furcal's roster spot.
Manny likely to DH in return to Boston
CINCINNATI -- No one knows what kind of reception Manny Ramirez will get when he returns to Fenway Park this weekend, but he likely won't have to deal with the Boston crowd when the Red Sox are batting.
Dodgers manager Joe Torre said he plans for Ramirez to be the designated hitter in Boston and during the following series at the Angels.
"That's my plan going in," Torre said. "I really haven't talked to him about it. I sort of threw it out there to him last night. I think it's probably the best thing just to keep him in the lineup for three games."
Avoiding the crowd in left field did not factor into Torre's decision, but Torre said it could be a bonus. He hasn't ruled out playing Ramirez in the outfield for one of the games during the rest of the road trip.
"It's tough, you go out there six straight games, I may put him in the outfield some day," Torre said. "But I don't know when that would be. And again I may not. It depends what he feels he needs. He always goes out there and takes fly balls anyway."
Ramirez had the day off on Thursday with Garret Anderson taking his place in left field.
The ninth-inning home run Hong-Chih Kuo allowed to Chris Heisey on Wednesday night ended his 18 2/3-inning scoreless streak. However, Kuo picked up his first save of the season and the second of his career. ... Andre Ethier's three-run home run on Wednesday was his first since coming off the disabled list. He had gone 15 games without one, although he entered Thursday batting .346 with 12 home runs and 43 RBIs.
Matt Brown is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.