Back tightness forces Van Slyke to exit game

Back tightness forces Van Slyke to exit game

SAN FRANCISCO -- Dodgers left fielder Scott Van Slyke, starting for the injured Carl Crawford, was removed from Saturday's 3-2 victory over the Giants in the third inning with lower back tightness.

Van Slyke said he was not concerned the injury was serious and expected to be back playing "soon." He speculated he might have tightened up "from the plane rides and bus rides."

He said he was injured an inning earlier on his first movement while catching Kolby Tomlinson's routine flyout. Van Slyke winced during his third-inning at-bat and came out after being nicked on the arm by a Madison Bumgarner pitch with the bases loaded, tying the game at 1.

"I just wanted to make sure it didn't get any worse," said Van Slyke. "I felt like I was good enough to go and finish the game, some guys are banged up, but I took that swing and felt it was time to come in and get treatment."

As soon as Van Slyke reached first base, he motioned to the dugout and was replaced by pinch-runner Joc Pederson, who stayed in the game in center field, with Trayce Thompson moving to left.

Before the game, the Dodgers placed Crawford on the 15-day disabled list with lower back pain. Crawford is the 11th Dodger on the disabled list.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.