CHICAGO -- The Dodgers activated pitcher Stephen Fife from the disabled list to start Sunday's game against the Cubs and made room for him by optioning Scott Van Slyke to Triple-A Albuquerque.
Fife had been out since July 7 with his second bout of shoulder bursitis, which sidelined him for five weeks earlier in the year.
He was inserted as a sixth starter for Sunday's game to provide an extra day of rest for the other five starters, as well as to push Zack Greinke back to pitch against the Cardinals on Monday night.
"The timing's right," said manager Don Mattingly. "We can make sure we get Zack and [Clayton Kershaw] an extra day and we line up a little better. This kicks [Chris Capuano] out of the St. Louis series."
Capuano has a 6.00 career ERA against the Cardinals and a 7.90 ERA at Busch Stadium.
When healthy, Fife has pitched well, going 3-3 with a 2.76 ERA in eight starts this year.
Mattingly said he expects to use the sixth starter only one time through the rotation at this point, but suggested there might be another time in September where a sixth starter could be used to give his starters an extra day off.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.