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Matt Kemp expected to miss at least three games

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The Dodgers did not rule out yet another return to the DL for Matt Kemp.

TORONTO (AP) Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp is expected to miss the three-game series against the Blue Jays after spraining his left ankle.

Out of the lineup for 11 games with a sore left shoulder, Kemp came off the 15-day disabled list before Sunday's 9-2 win over the Washington Nationals. He went 3 for 4 with a home run, but limped off the field after sliding into home plate on a force play in the ninth inning.

After the Dodgers beat Toronto 14-5 without Kemp on Monday night, manager Don Mattingly said X-rays were negative.

"We'll see how it looks tomorrow, if it's any better," Mattingly said. "We'll wait and see."

Kemp was walking around the Dodgers clubhouse with a boot on his ankle following the game.

Earlier Monday, Mattingly was less optimistic that Kemp would avoid a return to the DL.

"I'm probably not feeling as good about it as I did yesterday," Mattingly said. "It could go the wrong direction. Either this thing's going to get (better) and we'll know pretty quickly or it's going to be a little more severe."

Mattingly said Kemp came to the stadium at noon Monday and spent the afternoon undergoing treatment. He was expected to do the same Tuesday.

Kemp missed 24 games in May and June with a sore right hamstring. A two-time All-Star, two-time Gold Glove winner and two-time Silver Slugger, he's batting .263 with five homers and 27 RBIs in 62 games this season.

Kemp walked in the ninth Sunday and was on third with two outs when Carl Crawford hit a slow roller toward first. It would have been an infield hit had Kemp hustled home. Instead, he jogged and allowed the Nationals to make a play at the plate. He was hurt sliding into the catcher.

Mattingly saw no need to speak to Kemp about not running hard.

"There's no reason," he said. "Once that happens to a guy, they understand right away."

Sunday's game marked the first time that Kemp, Hanley Ramirez and Crawford had appeared together in the starting lineup this season.

Rookie Yasiel Puig started in center against Toronto on Monday, with Andre Ethier at DH. Mattingly said Ethier would likely return to center Tuesday and Wednesday.

"Luckily we're in the American League (ballpark) where it's not quite the same, you don't need all the extra players," Mattingly said. "We feel like we can kind of get by. Anytime you play without him you're going to play short, but with the DH you don't worry about it quite as much."

The Dodgers begin a four-game series against Cincinnati in Los Angeles on Thursday.

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