CINCINNATI -- Despite Matt Kemp's recent offensive struggles, manager Don Mattingly still believes he will turn things around.
Kemp went 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI in Thursday's 4-1 loss to the Reds. He is batting .254 with five home runs and 19 RBIs on the season. In his previous 19 games, he had been hitting .206 (13-for-63) with no homers and five RBIs. Though he had a good series in Colorado (5-for-9 with two triples and three RBIs), he struggled in the first three games in Cincinnati, going 1-for-8 with five strikeouts.
Kemp was ejected by home-plate umpire Seth Buckminster in the second inning of Wednesday's contest for arguing balls and strikes.
"We've seen flashes, right?" Mattingly said. "Colorado was pretty good. He was really good, actually, in Colorado. Certain times it's just matchups. You may hit a little stretch where the guy he's facing gets the ball to the part of the plate he's not handling, or certain pitches don't match up."
Mattingly said he doesn't think Kemp has regressed permanently into the type of hitter he's been at the plate recently, even with his injury history.
"I think Matt is better than .250," Mattingly said. "I think he's gonna hit. I just know the ability's there. I know it's there. It's been there before, it's there again. He's not at an age where you say, 'It's not there anymore.' There's a possibility that age has basically caught up, but he's still pretty much in a time where body-wise, reaction-wise, he's still young and he's done it before. He can do it again.
"I think he's been able to do the things, shoulder-wise, he's been able to do in the past. The ankle may affect speed or something, but I don't think that affects your actual ability to hit."
Hanley gets cortisone shot in ailing right shoulder
CINCINNATI -- Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who wasn't in Thursday's lineup due to right shoulder soreness, received a cortisone injection in his shoulder before the game.
Manager Don Mattingly said before Thursday's 4-1 loss to the Reds that Ramirez, who was a late scratch for Wednesday's game but pinch-hit in the seventh, felt better Thursday.
"It's kind of encouraging," Mattingly said. "Obviously, he's not in the lineup, but it's encouraging that this is going to be a day or two days. The fact that he walked in this morning feeling better, with a little bit more movement, it was encouraging."
Mattingly: Replay is key for ump accountability
CINCINNATI -- Manager Don Mattingly said Thursday that he thinks keeping track of how many calls an umpire has had overturned upon replay review during the season is important for accountability.
In the sixth inning of the Dodgers' 6-1 win on Tuesday, Andre Ethier was initially called out on a ground ball to second that was knocked down by Brandon Phillips, before the second baseman picked up the ball and threw to first. Mattingly successfully challenged the call, which was overturned after review.
"I think we're all kind of accountable," Mattingly said. "I think when people judge, they're gonna see who missed the most calls or whatever. I think you do want the best guys. … It's important that we -- obviously, you want to get the best guys and you want to help them improve, so we're going to look at players and see how they're doing, and we're going to look at managers and coaches and how they're doing."
• A decision on whether to activate catcher A.J. Ellis, who has been on the disabled list since spraining his right ankle during the celebration for Josh Beckett's no-hitter on May 25, will be made Friday, according to Mattingly.
"I think everybody felt like, pretty much, he was ready today," Mattingly said Thursday. "So we wanted to make sure we gave him that extra day, and we'll make a decision tomorrow."
• The Dodgers signed two more of their First-Year Player Draft selections Thursday: 10th-round selection Colin Hering (OF, Coastal Carolina) and 16th-round pick Devan Ahart (OF, University of Akron). So far, the club has signed seven of its 40 Draft picks, including four of its top 10.
Manny Randhawa is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.