Shortstop Hanley Ramirez started Game 4 of the National League Championship Series on Tuesday despite having a fractured rib in his left side but he was removed after six innings as the pain worsened and the Dodgers decided Ramirez needed to start treatment early in hopes of playing Game 5 on Wednesday.

"I was trying to compete and go out there and try to even up the series" Ramirez said after the Dodgers lost to the Cardinals 4-2 to move to the brink of elimination. "By the [sixth] inning I couldn't go any more."

Ramirez said he "definitely" plans to start Game 5 adding his treatment program would include plenty of ice steam and ultrasound therapy.

"Tomorrow I'm going to come back and I expect to see my name in the lineup" Ramirez said. "But it's going to be hard. I'm going to try to play tomorrow. I'm going to go back to my house and get some rest and be ready to go tomorrow."

Said manager Don Mattingly: "We'll see where he goes tomorrow if he's able to get loose and basically we are at the same spot."

The Dodgers' medical staff kept a close eye on Ramirez during Game 4 meeting with him in the dugout between innings.

"They were trying early in the game to take me out" said Ramirez who is also nursing an inflamed sciatica nerve that sends pain into his left hamstring. "I said I wanted to stay in. But I got to a point that I had to come in here and get treatment."

Nick Punto replaced Ramirez in the field in the top of the seventh with the Dodgers trailing 3-2.

Ramirez went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and appeared to be in pain after some swings. Unlike before Game 3 he did not have a pain-killing injection prior to the contest.

During an interview with TBS early in the game Mattingly said he noticed a difference in Ramirez's swing.

"He's feeling a little something" Mattingly said. "I think we're seeing it at the plate. It looks for me a little bit backsided. When guys can really hit they're going to use that front side. It looks like he's kind of favoring going to that back side."