Andre Ethier (oblique) day to day

Right fielder Andre Ethier will not be placed on the disabled list and is officially listed as day to day with a strained oblique, the struggling Los Angeles Dodgers announced Thursday.

Ethier left Wednesday's game in the first inning against the San Francisco Giants after checking his swing against Tim Lincecum. He wasn't in the lineup for Thursday night's series opener against the Mets at Dodger Stadium.

"Andre had pretty good news. Really good news," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "(Wednesday) I kind of assumed that we were going to be in a DL situation, but really the docs looked at him and didn't see any swelling. Couldn't be any better, as far as the news for Andre is concerned."

Eithier is hitting .291 with 10 home runs and 55 RBIs, good for third in the National League, though he was struggling in June with a .218 average.

Short an outfielder, the Dodgers recalled Scott Van Slyke from Triple-A Albuquerque and optioned infielder Ivan De Jesus. In 17 games earlier this season with the Dodgers, Van Slyke batted .194 (6 of 31) with a home run and six RBIs. In 16 games after being sent down, Van Slyke hit .306 for the Isotopes.

He will start Thursday against the Mets in right field.

Already thin on bats with Matt Kemp out until at least the All-Star break with a strained left hamstring, Mattingly acknowledged the predicament the club is in without Ethier.

"We had to regroup a little bit," he said. "Yesterday was really a pretty rough day in the sense of being frustrated with what was going on, with what happened with Andre and that whole situation. You feel bad. But at the end of the day, I think you have to regroup, and you do what we've been doing. We've got to get ready to play."

The Dodgers have lost eight of their last nine games and haven't scored a run since the sixth inning of Sunday's loss to the Angels in Anaheim.

In the span of a month, they have seen a 7.5-game lead over San Francisco in the National League West evaporate, and they even saw their team plane delayed leaving the Bay Area after Wednesday's loss in San Francisco.

Mattingly pointed to the All-Star break as a target date. If the Dodgers can stay afloat, things could turn around.

"We look like we have a chance to get (second baseman) Mark Ellis back before the break, and possibly getting Matt back really quickly after the break," Mattingly said. "It doesn't sound like Andre is going to be an extended period of time. Within a short period of time, we're going to see our lineup being back together, if everything would kind of go that direction."

On the pitching staff, Mattingly hopes reliever Javy Guerra (right knee inflammation), set to throw a simulated game Friday, will return around the All-Star break.

The Dodgers need all the help they can get. Their lineup Thursday night against the Mets lacked a single player hitting better than .265, and the eight position players had nine home runs between them.

Mattingly said he remains optimistic, but knows it won't be easy. There certainly will be no premium put on style points.

"Like I've kind of said before when Matt was hurt and guys were hurt, you've got to find a way to win a game today. That's really where we're at. We've got to band together, play some baseball, find a way to win a game, get ourselves to the break, and get our guys back," he said.

"I think we're OK. I think our guys will be all right."