Welch's Four-Hitter Is Good Enough for Dodgers' First Shutout

April 25, 1987|TOM FRIEND | Times Staff Writer

The San Diego Padres are proving they can make anyone a hero. Bob Melvin? Sal Butera? Robby Thompson?

All three beat the Padres with home runs this year.

Now, let's welcome the Dodgers' Mike Ramsey to the list. Although he didn't hit any homers Friday night, Ramsey had three hits, including an RBI double, and he wasn't the only one who had a fun time. There was catcher Mike Scioscia--his average is now .338--with three hits, and there was left fielder Pedro Guerrero with three hits.

And since the Padres managed only four hits off Bob Welch, they lost, 5-0, before a crowd of 48,980 at Dodger Stadium. It was the first shutout of the season for the Dodgers and the 20th of Welch's career.

"He was just about perfect," Padre first baseman Steve Garvey said of Welch.

But it was Mike Ramsey who had the Padres, mainly Manager Larry Bowa, cursing. He got all of his hits off Padre starter Ed Wojna, and Bowa was so embarrassed, he decided afterward to take Wojna out of the starting rotation.

"We'll go with a four-man," Bowa said. "How long? For a while. We can't get any worse."

Welch doesn't get much better. His fastball was clocked once at 90 m.p.h.

"That's about all I got," Welch said.

His only jam came in the fourth inning after a single by Tony Gwynn and a walk to John Kruk. There was only one out, but he got Kevin Mitchell to fly to right field. And then he struck out Garvey on three pitches.

"I threw him a fastball low and away (on the third one)," Welch said. "It thought it was a pretty good pitch."

Garvey corrected him: "A perfect pitch."

Meanwhile, the Dodgers botched only one thing Friday night--a first-inning rally. Ramsey and Guerrero each singled with one out, and Mike Marshall's ground-out moved them to third and second, respectively. Scioscia then stepped up, but Padre catcher Benito Santiago saw Guerrero straying too far off the bag and threw to second base.

Guerrero couldn't get back and was caught in a rundown. Ramsey, who had been on third, suddenly took off for home, and he, too, got caught in a rundown. Mitchell made the tag, ending the inning.

But the evening got progressively better for the Dodgers. In the second inning, they went ahead, 1-0. Scioscia collected his first hit--a ground single to right field off Wojna--and Franklin Stubbs followed with a double, Scioscia stopping at third.

Tracy Woodson got the RBI with a ground-out to shortstop Garry Templeton.

Then, the Dodgers put up three more runs in the third off Wojna. Mariano Duncan, Ramsey and Guerrero had consecutive singles (Guerrero's scored Duncan), and Marshall scored Ramsey with a sacrifice fly to right. Scioscia then singled through a drawn-in infield, and Guerrero scored.

That's when Bowa came out and got Wojna.

Scioscia, who has 10 hits in his last 17 at-bats, said: "They're falling in right now. Some of the hits aren't what you call textbook, but I'll take 'em."

As usual, Scioscia's best moment came on defense. In the seventh, Templeton popped up behind the plate, and the Dodger catcher started chugging after it.

"I'm not exactly Carl Lewis," he said.

But he did a long jump to catch it, anyway, sliding on his knees and grabbing it in front of the backstop.

The Dodgers scored their fifth and final run off reliever Tom Gorman in the fourth. Duncan singled, and Ramsey drove him home with his third hit--a double to left center. By now, Ramsay was batting .286.

Ramsey, a rookie, hadn't looked so good a few weeks back, when he was in an 0-for-14 slump. But he finally got a hit against the Padres last Saturday and had gone 6 for 20 until Friday night.

"I love it, man, because I was struggling there for a while," Ramsey said. "If you keep swinging, something will happen, you know. Was I 0 for 14? I don't know what it was. I just wasn't getting no hits."

The consensus on Ramsey is that he's pretty sure of himself.

"I believed in me. If you believe in yourself, man, you can do anything."

The Padres' Bowa doesn't quite believe in his team, however.

Someone wished him luck, and he said: "I'll (bleeping) need it."

Dodger Notes

Los Angeles Times Articles