Dodgers activate Brian Wilson off DL

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Los Angeles Dodgers are gradually recovering from their season-opening trip to Australia.

They activated reliever Brian Wilson from the 15-day disabled list before their game with the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night and watched Clayton Kershaw throw another encouraging bullpen session earlier in the afternoon.

Wilson didn't pitch as the Dodgers lost 3-2 to the Giants in 12 innings.

In both cases, the Dodgers suspected the pitchers' injuries resulted from a curtailed spring training to get ready for two March games in Australia.

Kershaw, who is on the disabled list with inflammation in the teres major muscle near his left shoulder, threw all fastballs Tuesday and topped out at about 85 mph, according to manager Don Mattingly. He will try to throw breaking balls off flat ground Wednesday and another bullpen Thursday. He could begin a minor league rehab assignment before long.

"It feels like we're getting close, but I don't know for sure," Kershaw said. "We're trying to raise the ceiling a little bit every day."

Wilson went on the DL two days after blowing a save in a Dodgers loss in San Diego on March 30 with irritation in his twice-repaired right elbow. To make room on the roster for Wilson, the Dodgers optioned left-handed reliever Paco Rodriguez to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Rodriguez was one of the best left-handed relievers in the National League last season and had a 3.18 ERA in eight appearances this year, but he was one of only two Dodgers relievers with options. The other, Chris Withrow, has become a key cog in the Dodgers' bullpen.

"The main reason: Paco's got options at this point. I can't say that's a great reason, but ... we're going to see Paco again," Mattingly said.

Dodgers right-hander Chad Billingsley, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, curtailed his bullpen session at AT&T Park because of elbow pain. Mattingly said he is traveling to Los Angeles to get an MRI on his elbow. The Dodgers were hopeful they would get Billingsley back in May, but he now has had two setbacks since he started a minor league rehab assignment.