Dodgers' Garciaparra placed on DL with MCL sprain to make room for Manny

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers made room for Manny Ramirez on the active roster Friday by placing infielder Nomar Garciaparra on the 15-day disabled list because of a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee.

Garciaparra, who had been starting at shortstop, was injured Sunday making a tag while covering third base against the Washington Nationals. Garciaparra was placed on the DL retroactive to Monday, and will be eligible to come off Aug. 12 when the Dodgers play Philadelphia in the second game of a four-game series.

This is Garciaparra's third trip to the disabled list this season. He missed the first 14 games while recovering from a fractured bone in his right hand, and was sidelined for 62 games from April 26 to July 3 with a strained left calf. He is hitting .279 with five homers and 19 RBIs in 27 games.

"He's been working at it and he's getting better, but he's still a long way from being that shortstop that can go to his left and to his right," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "Basically, we talked to him about this yesterday and he was resistant to it based on the fact that he was getting better and he felt that he could help the ballclub.

"Even though he may be able to play in 12 days instead of 15, I think we can take this luxury now that we have Manny and we've got a little more bench strength. He's just taking one for the team, basically."

Ramirez, acquired from the Boston Red Sox on Thursday, made his debut for the Dodgers on Friday night against Arizona, playing left field and batting cleanup.