CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A small piece of metal in his eye, and not a sinus infection, caused Denny Hamlin to miss last weeks race at California. Hamlin was not medically cleared to race last Sunday by doctors in the infield care centre at Auto Club Speedway. He had visited the care centre on Saturday and Sunday complaining of an irritation to his eye, and it was determined at the track that it was related to a recent sinus infection Hamlin had suffered. Hamlin was referred to a local hospital for further evaluation, and once there, "a small piece of metal was found to be in Hamlins eye," Joe Gibbs Racing said in a statement Wednesday. The metal was removed and JGR said "Hamlin felt immediate improvement." By then, the race at Fontana had already started and replacement driver Sam Hornish Jr. was behind the wheel of Hamlins No. 11 Toyota. Hamlin underwent further testing in California before he was cleared to fly home to North Carolina. He was evaluated in Charlotte on Monday and again on Wednesday, when it was determined he had no lingering issues with his vision and is cleared to race this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Hamlin has four career victories at Martinsville and an average finish of eighth. The timeline of Hamlins diagnosis and revelation it was a piece of metal in his eye and not a sinus infection comes a day after Dale Earnhardt Jr. called on NASCAR to release information regarding Hamlin not being cleared to race at California. Earnhardt, during an appearance Tuesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, questioned why there had been no official NASCAR statement or further explanation from Hamlin on what happened. He was particularly interested because it is so unusual for a driver to be parked shortly before a race is about to begin. "Im worried the perception is bad for NASCAR and the perception is bad for Denny," Earnhardt said. "If Denny didnt race because his vision is blurred and he had a sinus infection, NASCAR should put out a release and say, This is the timeline of the events and this is why we made this choice and this is the protocol for going forward. "That answers everybodys questions. Dont you have questions? I have questions. We shouldnt have questions. We should all feel pretty comfortable with what happened." Earnhardt missed two races in 2012 after he suffered his second concussion in six weeks. He drove for weeks following the first concussion, which occurred while testing at Kansas Speedway. He was cleared to drive following that crash, and the concussion was discovered after he wrecked again at Talladega. "If Denny did everything right, thats good to know," he said. "Why NASCAR did the things they did and the timeline, it would be good to know those things because the drivers are all curious and the fans are curious. Information is moving around. It just doesnt need to be going on. 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At 11:06 of the first period, Neal struck Marchand with his knee when Marchand was down on the ice. Marchand remained in the game. Neal was assessed a kneeing penalty for his hit on Marchand.LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers were well aware that Lance Lynn was experiencing blister problems on his middle finger. And for two innings, they showed callous disregard for his fastball -- the only pitch the St. Louis Cardinals right-hander could throw without pain. Andre Ethier and three of his Los Angeles teammates hit RBI doubles during a six-run second inning Saturday en route to a 9-1 victory, enabling Zack Greinke to become the third NL pitcher to reach double digits in wins. "I think everyone could see that Lynn was just getting the fastball across," Ethier said. "And when a guy can only do that and isnt having any luck with anything else, I think its a sign for a hitter to look for a straight heater, dead-red, and wait for that pitch over the plate." Greinke (10-4) allowed a run and four hits over seven innings, struck out 10 and did not walk a batter as the Dodgers won for the 11th time in 15 games. The 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner is 13-2 with a 1.98 ERA in 19 starts following a Dodgers loss since signing a $147 million, six-year contract in December 2012. Lynn (8-6) lasted just two innings and was charged with seven runs, nine hits and two wild pitches. He is 2-4 with a 3.90 ERA in six starts since throwing his first professional shutout May 27 and beating the Mets 6-0 with a career-high 126 pitches. "Honestly, I have blister problems every time I start, but I usually dont have them rip off like they did today," Lynn said. "Im missing a lot of the top part of my finger -- the whole tip, pretty much. I think it dried out, coming from Colorado, and it just ripped off. The wetter it got today, the more it kept going back. But thats a part of pitching. You try to get through those things, and I wasnt able to do that." Los Angeles got an unearned run in the first after back-to-back infield hits by Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez, who returned to the lineup after missing four games with a sore right shoulder. Puig went to third on a fielders choice grounder by Adrian Gonzalez and continued home when shortstop Daniel Descalso dropped the ball on the exchange from his glove to his right hand. The Dodgers, who didnt get an extra-base hit in the first two games of this series, broke it open during Lynns 45-pitch second inning with the doubles by Ethier, Justin Turner, A.J. Ellis and Dee Gordon. Gonzalez and Matt Kemp addded two-out RBI singles.dddddddddddd "If I threw anything else but the fastball, it hurt. It was burning," Lynn said. "But Im a fastball pitcher, anyway, and they were ready for it. I tried to throw some other pitches, but I just didnt have any feel with it." The defending NL West champs sent 11 batters to the plate during their most productive inning of the season -- including Miguel Rojas, who came in as a pinch runner after Turner strained his left hamstring running out his double. "I think we needed a good offensive showing for Zack because of how well hes done for us," Ethier said. "Hes had a couple of tough losses lately, so it was good to put up some early runs for him and let him do his work." Greinke became the first Dodgers pitcher to reach double digits in wins before the All-Star break since 2007, when Brad Penny started 10-1 and finished 16-4. Matt Carpenters third-inning homer accounted for St. Louis run. The defending NL champions tried to get back in the game in the fifth, but Greinke struck out Carpenter with runners at second and third. During the Dodgers big rally, one of Lynns pitches missed Greinkes head by inches after he squared to bunt. Gordon tried to score from second on a wild pitch to Ramirez, as Yadier Molina jogged back to the screen to retrieve it. But the six-time Gold Glove winner got the ball to Lynn in time for the tag on Gordon. "Hes always trying to take the extra base, so youre always aware," Lynn said. "I didnt think that he would do it, but youve always got your eye on him just in case. I dont even know if I would have gotten three outs that inning if it werent for that one." NOTES: Rojas replaced Ramirez at SS in the third inning and Juan Uribe took over at 3B for Turner. Uribe drove in the Dodgers final two runs with a bases-loaded single in the eighth. ... Greinke has made 121 starts since committing his last error on July 16, 2010, for Kansas City. The 11-year veteran has never won a Gold Glove. ... Lynn got a victory in relief against the Dodgers in the opening game of last years NL championship series and won Game 4 in a starting role. ... The Dodgers have played nine consecutive errorless games, their longest streak since a nine-game stretch in June 2004. ... The Dodgers have hit only two homers over their last 10 games and five in their last 13, all of them solo shots. ' ' '